Wunderkammer | CircaHailing from Brisbane, Circa has come back to Melbourne with their latest show Wunderkammer (meaning: a cabinet of wonders; a place where a collection of curiosities and rarities is exhibited). After sell out seasons across the globe, where they baffled audiences with seemingly impossible physical feats, the group has temporarily set roots at the Malthouse Theatre.

Circa is responsible for a bold new vision of contemporary circus, actually I don’t know if what they perform can be tagged as circus anymore. What Circa delivers is something which has evolved beyond what audiences around the world would identify as “circus.” The company was honoured with a Helpman Award for Best Visual or Physcal Theatre Production in 2012, and it is no wonder, as they are mind blowingly talented.

Wunderkammer is a composite of cabaret, interpretative dance, ballet, acrobatics and a touch of clown intermissions, completely original and definitely a là Circa. No red nosed lovable silly characters on stage here, just balloon inhaling/swallowing uber sexy Adoni and Aphrodites, which also manage to provoke a good hardy belly laugh out of its audience.

Like an abstract painting paired with music, with sexual overtones all set in motion, Circa’s new show is captivatingly exquisite and surprisingly appropriate for even younger theatre goers.

What seems like an oddly segmented show, is actually a gorgeously choreographed piece of theatre which captivates the audience’s full attention from beginning to end. According to Director Yaron Lifschitz, “It is circus, sure. But it borrows heavily from sideshow, vaudeville and burlesque. In Wunderkammer, nothing is what it seems.”

The show features popular songs, classical and jazz music which pair the emotionally charged, dramatic and comedic pieces so perfectly, that they give a sense of having been especially written for the specific performance.

The acrobatic feats were similar to, but unlike anything I had ever witnessed before. Gasps could be heard throughout the venue, as a reaction to some of the death-defying acrobatics, ie: a female performer was swung so low, it gave the impression that all her teeth were going to be jammed into the floorboards, and child-like giggles were released by us all when a male performer danced and jumped on top of a big bubble wrap carpet, causing it to pop like crazy.

Circa’s Wunderkammer, awakens the senses and jars the preconception of what circus is “supposed” to be. If you feel that you’ve seen it all, as far as acrobatic circus performances are concerned, I recommend you leave all your previously set views on the art form at home, and prepare to fall in love with this fabulous cabinet of wonders.

Malthouse Theatre presents
a Circa production

Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble

Venue: The Malthouse | 113 Sturt Street, Southbank VIC
Dates:  August 14 – September 1 2013
Tickets: $59 – $30
Bookings: www.malthousetheatre.com.au

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