S will test any preconceived ideas you may have about the physical limitations of the human body. This Stirring, Seductive and SuSpenSeful piece of contemporary circus/physical theatre, created and directed by Yaron Lifschitz, and performed by Brisbane's own internationally acclaimed Circa, is a world premiere performance showing at the Brisbane Festival.
In pitch black, a single light bulb hangs over the top of an arched body. Amplified breath is the soundtrack. With the inhale, the body's contorted bridge inflates, on the exhale it collapses. The stage slowly illuminates to reveal a square white floormat that dominates the stage like a giant blank canvas. Your breathing joins in syncopation as one by one more bodies emerge onto the stage.
Unable to look away, you watch the bodies join and flow, beautiful lines are blurring, and sometimes you can't tell where one body begins and another ends. White-fleshed limbs, masculine torsos, painted black leotards move, squirm, fly, entwine, and bring the blank canvas alive like some incredible three dimensional abstract painting.
You are in a trance, tantalised and fascinated, drawn into the divinity, the performers' exquisite poise, the artistry in their risk and their discipline. Emotionally alluring scenes will unfold before your eyes. Aurally you journey to the stirring sounds of the Kronos Quartet, while visually your senses are heightened through Jason Organ's lighting design. Organ's design deepens the aesthetic through vivid colour washes, lightning-like effects underfoot of the performers and fascinating shadow play. Libby McDonnell's costume design is understated and sexy, adding to the visual dramatics of the piece perfectly. What Lifschitz, along with his creative associates Ben Knapton and Darcy Grant, create in S is visually the seamless weaving of awe- inspiring acrobatic movements.
The pallet, an array of acrobatic repertoire including adagio, aerials, silks, ropes, contortion, hula hoops, a touch of slapstick and much more, is masterfully manipulated into something akin to theatre fit for the gods. The Circa ensemble executes Lifschitz's vision with veracity, grace and, at times, a cheeky and delightful flair. Their performance will render you speechless, breathless and hold you captivated for the full 80 minutes, as you witness this deeply poignant and picturesque repertoire of astonishing moving human sculpture.
The Circa Ensemble presents
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble
Venue: QPAC, Playhouse, corner of Grey and Melbourne Streets, South Bank
Dates: 8 - 15 September