Circa (5 stars)

This article is from 2009


Bodies balancing, beautifully, breathtakingly

Circa is just about human bodies. About what they can do, how much they can take, how they can be funny and sensual and cruel. About their possibilities. The six-strong cast of charismatic young Australian performers need nothing more than their bodies, a wildly eclectic soundtrack, great lighting and a couple of aerial cords to create an utterly wonderful hour-long piece.

As they slam themselves onto the floor, pull and maul each other into gravity-defying balances, contort and exploit the possibilities of their various physiques, a palpable sense of amazement rises from the audience. There are scenes of broad physical comedy, wince-inducing moments of sado-masochism, a breathtakingly beautiful dance sequence of balancing, pale spotlit limbs set to a Sigur Ros track and an adrenaline-rush finale of high-octane aerial work.

These are bodies used not just as playthings or to show off, but tools to express nuanced emotion, in every minute clench of muscle or flick of wrist. As the dancers clamber onto each other, they aren’t just demonstrating their agility, they seem to be making wordless points about relationships, the ways we interact, use, abuse and love each other.

Assembly Hall, 623 3030, until 31 Aug (not 24), 4.30pm, £14.50–£16 (£13–£15).


  • 5 stars

Thrilling and moving. Tightly connected acrobatic sequences, intricate scenes and hauntingly beautiful moments. Physical poetry and extraordinary circus skills combine, bathed in layers of sound, light and projection. C!rca has received standing ovations around the world.