Circa is Australia’s leading contemporary circus, and under director Yaron Lifschitz, their award-winning works have been seen in 34 countries across six continents. They are currently touring three different shows across Europe and after last night’s terrific What Will Have Been, at Trafo, I wish I could see them all.
Early on we are treated to a stunning display of vertical rope work by Lauren Herley, whose contortionist skills were on full display. Whether leaping from the top of the rope or suspended feet a few tantalising inches from the floor, she perfectly balanced athletic power and grace. Accompanied by violinist Rebecca Seymour, it’s a wonderful open.
Each performer is multi-skilled, they combine acrobatics, strength and agility, and delivered more than one audible gasp, pushing the boundaries of what we believed possible. But as impressive as the physical feats continued to be, this show is much more than a succession of tricks. The choreography often pares everything back, incorporating elements closer to dance. It evoked the playfulness and rivalry of children, sometimes the interplay of a love triangle, and the ensemble of Herley, Keaton Hentoff-Killian and Daniel OBrien were a delight to watch.
Musically, the show is a mash up between Bach and electronica, which mostly worked, switching between moods and tempo. It was only the solo violin piece that while atmospheric and well played, for me, was not strong enough to hold an otherwise empty stage.
I thoroughly enjoyed this show, as clearly did the audience, who kept calling the performers back to thunderous applause. My only complaint is that as I rose from my seat, I felt every ache in every muscle and joint. I guess watching an hour of people bending over backwards and holding one armed handstands (with no apparent effort) will do that to you.
What Will Have Been has two further shows in Budapest at Trafo on 5th and 6th November. If you are in France or Belgium, there will be more shows and more opportunities to see this wonderful company between now and 17th December. Check Circa’s website for dates and venue information.