Photo – Pedro Greig
Humans. Never has a title been truer to it's name. A group of ten hugely talented acrobats from the Circa Ensemble, under the direction of Yaron Lifschitz, present to you a show that demonstrates the truest and most impressive physical human achievements – no frills, no holds barred.
A very simple stage and costume design presents itself as nothing more than some basic lighting and earth toned clothing, so as not to detract from the actual marvel of the show. Nothing is brought forward to distract you from the performers except themselves. With a speedy start backed to fast paced folk-like music it is reminiscent of the infamous slide of hand you hear about in gypsy culture. When you look to the left the right is giving something to you, or is it taking something from you? I'm so whisked up in the controlled chaos of it all I am not even sure of my own thoughts any more, and all I know is I am suddenly very aware of my own shortcomings as a human. Next to me I hear my companion whisper “What have I done with my life?”
Awe inspiring and often uncontrollable cringing ensues throughout the audience as you watch the performers use nothing but themselves and each other as props. Less than ten external objects or pieces of equipment were visible through the show, which gives you an idea of just how much they are using their physical skill to leap, climb and conquer the stage (and each other)...
Movement so unencumbered by costume, props or story it is a like a sea of bodies moving between liquid and solid state. So fluid and so powerful that it is easy to see why such simplicity has been chosen for the stage, lighting and story. It really needs nothing more than exactly what it is to get exactly what it needs across. How can something so smooth, so natural looking make you feel so uncomfortable? Admittedly, watching grace and strength meet struggle all the while defying gravitational pull is almost refreshing, as it makes you remember just HOW HARD it must be to achieve the simplest looking displays. Humans has definitely pushed the boundaries of what we, as humans think we can achieve physically. This same strength, grace and powerful visuals are only shadowed by occasional touches of comedy throughout the show, as these welcomed laughs are expertly weaved in to help you remember to breathe.
So chaotic, so calculated – the acrobats transport you to your youth. To the time you were swinging on the monkey bars, not in the sense of the physical prowess but in the sense of the fearlessness that you feel as a child. They present a sense of no fear. THAT is a powerful weapon to have in the human arsenal. For all it's simplicity, Humans was a very complex feast for the eyes, and a delight for the heart. Simple.
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble
Director Yaron Lifschitz
Venue: Playhouse, QPAC
Dates: 6 – 9 December 2017
Tickets: $39 – $69