The energy and finesse of both the band - DOCH - and the Great Siberian Circus provided a symbiosis unlike any other live performance I have seen. It wasn’t just the juxtaposition of suits and skin that made this performance alluring, which it certainly was; it was the majesty of seeing the human body contort in deft art poses and hearing the music sounding every bit as nimble as the acrobatics, that made this performance the 5 star spectacle it turned out to be.
DOCH, dressed in authentic looking garb reminiscent of a bygone era, occupied a small pocket to the side of the stage, and this is where the ten musicians provided the soundtrack for the Great Siberian Circus. Michael Rogers of DOCH (trumpet and vocals) was also the Narrator for the evenings show, providing the audience with light entertainment in between the circus vignettes. I thought that this one legged (well, standing on one leg due to having a broken foot) presenter and his fellow band of gypsies possessed a musical talent whose sum of its parts proved to make an even greater whole. Each of the individual’s from DOCH embody a musical dexterity and understanding of Eastern European folk music enough to earn them each credit worth noting.
Set to the side of these troubadours was the circus arena, a surprisingly small space for a circus performance of this calibre. Douglas Ferroni’s Great Siberian Circus is a circus of the old world kind; a traditional Russian circus whose artists have graduated from the cream of Soviet Union circus academies. The circus consists of well known and highly regarded Russian circus performer, Serik Abishev, his family and cohorts. Under the Direction of Nick Lavers and Chloe Goodyear, the audience was able to view the human form at its finest and most disciplined. The circus component of the performance was presented in chapters where each within the troupe showcased their specialty. From crazy horses, to the trapeze, then hoops suspended from the ceiling and a balancing act defying reason, these artists are a collective well oiled machine of the kind I have never seen before.
The term that came to me whilst transfixed on this phenomenon was ‘circus theatre’. For me, this wonderful, whimsical, mythical trip back to a circus tent set somewhere in Siberia reminded me of ‘circus theatre’, the way it should be. The music being played by DOCH reflected the nuances of the circus artists at their side, whether it be a loud, fast and funny skit or an introspective piece of breath taking concentration, the band had the right music for the occasion. That is what I found to be most compelling, the relationship between the band and circus. This element alone added to the quirkiness of this marvel of a show and reason enough for you and your entire family to book in this ‘must see’ event.
Doch and The Great Siberian Circus
Written and directed by Nick Laves and Chloe Goodyear
Venue: Playhouse, QPAC
Dates/Times: 12 - 15 December, 7.30pm
Tickets: (incl. fees) Adult $48; Conc.$41; Youth $35
Bookings: 136 246 or qtix.com.au
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