Cantina | Brisbane Festival 2010 and Strut & FretPhotos - Sean Young

Stunning acrobatic skills are the highlight of this new sultry production at the Brisbane Festival from Strut and Fret.

The Spiegeltent offers an effortlessly decadent setting with just the right amount of dim, purple lighting to create that seedy bar look that Cantina is all about. The men have five o’clock shadows and the ladies in florals and bloomers embody a faded glamour from faraway times.

All the circus performers are world class in their own right, each bringing extraordinary talents to the stage. A stand out is Mozes, who performs a Corde Lisse act that drops all jaws to the floor, as well as a cheeky trick involving a red hanky and not much else, leaving little to the imagination.

Henna Kaikula from Finland is not a regular fixture in Australian shows and it is well worth seeing her brilliant contortion and handstand routines. There are lots of titillating and nail biting pieces too from Brisbane’s own Chelsea McGuffin, David Carberry and Daniel Catlow. In particular a trademark ‘Toss the Girl’ routine, blending together the shows aesthetic balance of passion and violence perfectly.

A pianola and a gramaphone gave the soundscape some genuine antiquity, while Nara Demasson of Vulgargrad fame did a couple of sweet numbers on the banjo. As well as the few songs it might be nice to hear a little more voice from the performers or vocals throughout the show. There was no real narrative or through-line of the performance, and although the physical feats speak for themselves, the audience might have been even more enamoured with some stronger characters or relationships to follow.

That said, the talents of the artists carry the show and create a luscious neo-circus spectacle that is characteristic of Strut and Fret productions. Over its three week season Cantina will undoubtedly develop and lift in energy and style; a true visual feast of classy circus and ye-olde Speigeltent charm.

Brisbane Festival 2010 and Strut & Fret

Venue: Spiegeltent | King George Square, Ann Street, Brisbane
Dates: 5 - 25 September
Duration: 60 minutes (no interval)
Tickets: Adult $40, Concession $30 (includes booking fee, additional charges may apply)
Bookings: Moshtix 1300 438 849

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