This piece from Emotive Circus Arts begins in the dark, in more ways than one, with a disembodied voice asking us, at length, to close our eyes and imagine we are in various evocative places, and tells us what to feel about them, like some amateur hypnotherapy session. This, combined with the title of the company, and the rather breathless claims in its publicity that it will affect us individually at a deep life-changing level; and that they’ve researched into Jungian theory etc., etc. leads to wondering if this is going to be, well, over-earnest and a bit pretentious. Who needs this? All theatre is emotive. We don’t need to be told. But. But. When the piece proper starts, it speaks (without ever speaking) for itself. The seven-piece troupe, five women, two men, work superbly together. The choreography is brilliantly devised, and executed with consummate skill, sometimes in pairs, sometimes solo, sometimes tout ensemble, and achieves a statuesque beauty in its acrobatic moves and daring postures. What a joy it is of our time, that the meaning of the phrase “circus skills” has changed so much in the last two or three decades. Who would have thought, for instance, that the hula hoop, biggest children’s toy craze of 1957, could now feature in high art? It does here, in the balletic rapport of two synchronised hoopers in charmed, affectionate harmony. There is much more, and yes, it is about love, loss, jealousy, eroticism, joy. It is a visual feast of choreographic imagination that delights the eye, the ear and the mind. Life-changing? Theatre can only really be life-changing in the moment: but this, uplifting literally as well as figuratively, will certainly heighten your life in its hour. Exhilarating stuff.
John Christopher Wood