This Side Up strut their stuff in the confines of SOCO Cargo, a reasonably large space for anything other than the extreme flight of some of the group’s acrobatic tricks. The trio elegantly negotiates overhanging truss which adds to the audience’s trepidation of some moves. The accompanying sound to the show is pre-recorded tracks with an enlivening boost from Joseph’s drumming. The live percussion allows for a dynamic dialogue to establish between sound and physicality adding to the energy of the show. Joseph also has his own miniature balancing cameo act, a great moment of story and character.
Aside from the acrobatic trio’s awe inspiring athleticism, the cement that holds the show together is its title and how diligently the action follows the notion of controlled falling. The idea of controlled falling is explored through a range of acts from hand stands and high powered acrobatics to catapulting from the Teeterboard and springing from the Russian Pole. The control and precision of the acrobatics and extreme stunts almost eclipses the performers’ apparent flirt with extreme danger. The dangerous edge is subtly illuminated as the performers punctuate tricks and acts with a totally controlled, slow motion fall and remain on the floor just long enough for the mind’s eye to conjure a mishap with bodies traced out at the scene of the accident. This thought seems an aberration of the sick and twisted audience as the WOW factor of tricks overrides any sense of unease. But then the show’s unfortunate 2D doll is put through her paces on the Teeterboard and lands terribly only to have her silhouette traced out in chalk on the floor. This monstrous moment is treated with lightness and humour but affirms the nature the show.
The contrast between fun and sheer control and the dance between unease and thrill of extreme physicality is what makes the performance so engaging. Circus performance by its nature flirts with this contrast but Controlled Falling Project does it with an eloquent focus without losing the WOW of the of the human body in flight, the beauty of the show’s theatricality, the contrast between the power of moves and the grace of slow motion moments and connectedness between the performers. The essence of the show is controlled falling.
This Side Up presents
Controlled Falling Project
Venue: The Garden of Unearthly Delights | Rundle Park, Cnr of East Terrace & Rundle St Adelaide
Dates: March 1 – 9