Knee Deep (4 stars)

This article is from 2012

Knee Deep

Redfining the meaning of headstand

Casus, Australia’s most exciting new circus company, have the audience squealing and gasping within minutes of beginning. The four performers use each other as climbing frames, running up limbs and jumping off shoulders, creating four-person towers and aerial tangles. They even redefine the meaning of headstand – by actually standing on each other’s heads.

There are some brilliant displays on the trapeze and aerial silk and, refreshingly, there’s no pretence at ‘magic’ either. You can really see the stress and strain of their muscles working as they lift each other higher and higher. And while some acrobatic shows may relegate their women to the easier stunts, there’s complete equality here, with Emma Serjeant – the lone female – bearing just as much of the muscular effort as her male counterparts.

Unfortunately, routines that stay close to the ground may be difficult to see from the back and one trick in which Serjeant pushes a nail right up her nose feels cheap compared with the physical accomplishments that surround it. But it’s a small blip in an otherwise awe-striking show.

Assembly George Square, 623 3030, until Aug 27 (not 13, 20), 7.35pm, £14–£15 (£13–£14)

Knee Deep

Casus, Assembly and Marshall Cordell. Casus return with their smash hit, Knee Deep. Four performers explore the boundaries of strength and tenderness. Bodies are pushed and pulled, weighed and tested, probing the limits of both physicality and feeling. Using traditional and contemporary circus techniques, Knee Deep…