This spring I saw my first Cirque du Soleil performance, and it was incredible.
Last night I saw Circa, the Australian contemporary circus performing at Spoleto Festival USA. It was so much better than anything contrived under elaborate costumes and masks.
It was a simpler everything–costumes were leotards for the women, pants for the men; no fire breathers, no silly clown costumes, although they did have ‘clowns’ with humorous interludes between larger acts. With no cliche story line to follow, just incredible movements of the human form in the most extreme, backed by synthetic beats and ethereal songs in foreign languages which allowed the movement to be the main focus.
The performers were insane machines of muscle and sinew, flexibility and control. The ‘perfect facade’ wasn’t there–this was real. They were really doing these insane handstands, balancing acts, hula hooping, squeezing body parts through hoops; it looked like one guy even dislocated his shoulder! Tossing people through the air and catching them in a perfect lift–the entire audience cried out simultaneously.
At the curtain call, EVERYONE in Memminger Auditorium was on their feet instantly. Standing ovations are becoming rarer at the performances we’ve attended lately, but everyone seems to have an appreciation for the physical talent of acts like Circa and Corella Ballet.
Circa will be performing their incredible feats of physical daring through June 12th at Memminger Auditorium, 56 Beaufain Street, times vary. If you only see one more thing, go to Circa!
Tickets at www.spoletousa.org, Gaillard Auditorium 77 Calhoun Street, or call 843.579.3100