Get ready to see traditional circus flipped on its head and given an urban makeover when '360 ALLSTARS' comes rolling into the Adelaide Fringe Festival.
Described as ‘a radical urban circus’, '360 ALLSTARS' subverts the stereotypical elements of a traditional circus and reinvents them with modern street art styles such as BMX flatlanders, basketball freestylers, break-dancers and a Roue Cyr performer.
“The show itself is an urban circus,” founder and director Gene Peterson says, “and what that means is that we’re deconstructing a traditional stereotype circus and replacing those conventional circus art forms with contemporary urban street styles. Instead of acrobats we have break-dancers, instead of a juggler we have a basketball freestyler, instead of unicyclist a BMX rider and so on, so all the street twists.”
The show features a world-class roster of international performers each at the top of their respective forms, including two-time world champion BMX flatlander Peter Sore, B-Boys Kareem and Leerok, Roue Cyr artist Rhys Miller and basketball freestyle savant, Basketballman. “What we’ve done in the show is taken these street art forms and urban styles and transformed them into a stage experience. So every single one of these art forms has been reframed to be a theatrical performance,” Gene says.
“The first half of the show we have each of the pieces that have been framed, which allows them to connect to the audience as a piece and we introduce all the artists and art forms in self-contained pieces. Then the second half of the show is when we get them collaborating all together, building relationships between these different artists and art forms, and get them having a go at each other’s disciplines.”
Gene is also a high-profile career drummer sponsored by Yamaha, and along with vocal artist Sam Perry provides the soundtrack to the performance.
“In the show I am one half of the live music,” he says. “It’s me and Sam Perry who is an incredibly talented vocal loop artist. We have all of my instruments, keys and drums, going into his loop pedals, and also his voice which he runs through a guitar effects pedal, so he’s able to throw effects and manipulate his voice to emulate all sorts of sounds at his end. We can layer sound upon sound to create the live music for the show and be whatever ensemble we want to be; we can be a jazz band, a full orchestra or funk outfit just by changing the sounds we record live.”
Exploring the full circle of rotation, '360 ALLSTARS' is more than a circus with a hip hop theme, with Gene preferring to think of it as a hip hop show with a circus theme.
“It’s a high-energy spectacle, a feast for the senses,” he beams. “We have an incredible lighting design, brilliant projections and I’d like to think the music is pretty good, Sam is pretty incredible and of course there are world-class, incredibly talented artists at the forefront throughout the production."
"Probably the key element to touch on here is fun... We have a great time up on stage and that’s contagious. We have fun, the audience has fun with us and I don’t think I’ve ever looked up and not seen the crowd smiling. We have a good time.”
'360 ALLSTARS' perform at Panama Club at Royal Croquet Club, 16 February-19 March.