Wunderkammer is back this year following a sell-out season last year. Performed by Circa, this circus-arts performance troupe are in Melbourne at the Malthouse Theatre this entire month of August for their 1.5 hour jaw-dropping performance. It was my first time to the Malthouse Theatre, just around the corner of the National Gallery of Victoria and the Arts Centre.
As we were seated, we were told to turn our mobile phones off and to not take photos of the performers for their safety. There was silence in the auditorium. We held our breaths throughout the show. The seats I purchased well in advance was about 5 rows away from the stage, giving me a close view of every facial expression there was. I could hear every breath the aerialist took and every thump they made deliberately on safely padded floors which allowed them to gain momentum, bounce and leap off air, cartwheels, handstands and multi acro-balance acts.
There were a few jaw-dropping moments which made me gasp and shout silently. The senior citizens sitting around me let out a few gasps occasionally, pursing their lips after, bearing in mind they shouldn’t make a noise to have the performers hold their concentration throughout.
At one point, the male ensemble did a handstand with palms on both the ladies’ heads. Instantly, you could see the ladies’ necks shortened, heads pressed right into their collarbones as their necks and bodies held the approximately 80kg man balancing for life upside down. So much beauty with what the human body can do.
The show displayed great contortion skills, you wonder what their bones were made of; probably “bubble-gum” of some sort. No one person could be singled out as being far more flexible than the other. They all had immense strength and flexibility, took to the stage during their solos, an act of comedy, vaudeville and theatrical art of today’s modern culture displaying sexuality, values of life – trust depicted through the dancers as they were flung over and across the room backwards at some point. Imagine being flung over for about 50m behind not knowing who’s going to catch you from behind, or even have entire body weight (plural) supported on your hips, stomach, pelvis (or pancreas, guts, ovaries, kidneys or what have you). Boy, am I a spoiler!
The show was my sneaky attempt to have my husband commit to doing acro balance classes with me after his cycling career, enlighten him about the world of aerial arts so he knows how our monies are well spent on my fairly reasonably priced hobby (hobbies).
Spectacular and inspiring! Makes me feel like I haven’t pushed my body to its limit yet.
Photo by: Boudist
WUNDERKAMMER: 14 AUGUST – 1 SEPTEMBER 2013
Following a sell-out season last year, Circa are back with a new heart-stopping production, Wunderkammer. This is circus at its absolute best, where the seemingly impossible combines with the poetic. Sexy, funny and explosive, Wunderkammer is a heady cocktail of circus, cabaret and vaudeville. In this white-hot spectacle, a diva melts into a rope, balloons and bubble wrap discover their artistic souls, while bodies twist and fly, transforming the very fabric of reality.
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble
Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz
Producer Danielle Kellie
Technical Director/Lighting Design Jason Organ
Costume Design Libby McDonnell
Cast Nathan Boyle, Jessica Connell, Robbie Curtis, Casey Douglas, Brittannie Portelli, Kimberley Rossi and Duncan West (pole-dancer, of course I know who Duncan West is!)
More info here.