Monday 16 October 2023

Apricity review (Melbourne Fringe Festival)

What I love the most about circus is the surprising ways that it can make you feel. While the logic defying tricks and acrobatics are always the drawcard, I am fascinated to see how the artists go deeper with this and attempt to bring its audience into the show. Circus company Casus manage to do this and so much more with their mesmerising and breathtaking new work Apricity.

The ensemble (Jesse Scott, Lachlan McAulay, Mayu Muto, Amy Stuart, and Harlow Carey) work flawlessly as one with the precise choreography having them coming in and out of the space, directly and indirectly engaging with and assisting one another. Their bodies entwined, they rely on the group to be held up, carried and supported, in both the literal sense and the spiritual.

Casus perform acrobatic routines and use their bodies in ways that I have never witnessed before, yet it appears to be so natural and simple with how they move and the feats they pull off. The majority of the acts involve only their bodies but a trapeze, rope and hula-hoop are effectively used to provide some variety and ensure that we don’t tire of the acrobatics and continuously want more. They gracefully jump, spin and balance, and they are so light on their feet (as well as other parts of their bodies) that there are times you think they are floating or gliding through the air.

Playing with this idea of the winter sun breaking thrugh the cold, the stage is lit with various candles and lights that create a comforting glow to the performance. The ensemble repeatedly return to the lights and use them within acts, further emphasising the running theme of the show around supporting and caring for each other.

The soundscape is powerfully evocative with the acts eliciting strong images and feelings of connection. Labi Siffre's 1971 song "Bless the Telephone” is an inspired choice for one routine that would melt the coldest of hearts.

With Apricity, Casus deliver a masterful piece of circus with an affecting and uplifting exploration of what we can achieve when we begin to look out for one another. Just like the warmth of the winter sun, the darkest of life's moments can also be eventually filled with light.

Show Details

Venue: National Institute of Circus Arts, 35-59 Green St, Prahran

Season: until 21 October | Wed - Sat 6:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes

Tickets: $32 Full | $28 Concession | Hump Day Discount (Wednesday) $24
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

Image Credit: Rob Blackburn

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