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Monday, April 8, 2013

The National Institute of Performing Arts presents Leap of Faith : Circus in Motion.


by Deanus
from:  samesame.com.au
Mon 8th Apr, 2013 in Reviews
The National Institute of Performing Arts presents Leap of Faith : Circus in Motion.
I sat back and enjoyed a 70 minute contemporary circus in this 24 ensemble performance that left me speechless with an amazing display of skill and movement.
When you tell people hear contemporary circus everyone’s minds go to Cirque du Soleil, and while this production was directed by former Cirque du Soleil Artistic Director, Matthew Jessner, it explores the art form in a different way that gave both the artist and the viewer a different perspective.
From tumbling, trampoline, acrobatics, dance, gymnastics and aerial feats this performance was filled with physical theatre as performers connected to each other and their craft in a merging of solo work and ensemble numbers that explore the beauty of what the body can do.
At first the audience were clapping and cheering every 20 seconds when something beautiful and amazing would occur which was actually a bit weird because the performance was communicating the relationship to the movement in a different way to what we were used to, but as we settled into its vibe and engrossed ourselves in the stillness I soon became that person that just keeps saying ‘WOW’ with a big grin on my face instead of clapping because of the sheer beauty from every performer, whether in the air or in a giant ring, to speedily bouncing balls, juggling or just being a clown.
 
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I wish I could watch more circus art performed this way, focusing on the movement and the artist working within their particular skilled focus instead of the audience’s relationship to it, which often gets lost in the showmanship and spectacle of the “real world of circus performing.”
 While this is an ensemble piece for final year students at NICA, this never felt like a student production. With simplicity to the lighting, costuming and set, we are left mesmerised by the performers as they spin, twirl, and dance their way through the air in an explosion of movement.
 Opening with three performers working aerially with rings and fabric we are given time to realise that we are going to be seeing something different. It’s not about the performers working in symmetry or hitting every beat or moment to the music, but travelling through the physical and how their internal instincts led them to the moment, and these moments are a wonder to behold.
 I don’t have enough room to highlight all 24 performers but I wish I could, the depth of their skill springs through with the variety of skills we see. And the performance took on another level with the closing numbers of both acts, first a fantastic contemporary dance piece to an amazing closing number that put the leap into ‘Leap of Faith’ as the performers fly through the air.
 The skill and training that these performers have shines through in this production and as the season continues their relationship to their movements, ability and commitment to the ‘moments’ that you don’t even realise are ‘moments’ can only grow.
I want to go back and see it again.

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