Circa - Humans Brisbane Review @ QPAC

Published in Arts News  
Circa's 'Humans' plays at QPAC until 9 December. Circa's 'Humans' plays at QPAC until 9 December.
QPAC and Circa co-present ‘Humans’, the latest local production from the world-renowned circus group running for a short time only.

A pared down performance, with a limited number of lyras most pieces rely on human bodies supporting and bouncing off each other. The focus is on performers themselves as Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz asks “what it means to be human” of his ten acrobats. Expressing with this latest work “it is our connection to our vulnerability that our strength finds its true articulation. In our limitations are our possibilities”.

While never explicitly explained, there could be various takeaways from each piece. On stage there are couplings with the swaying of hips, ascensions to the sky, people unwrapping themselves from clothes like they were cocoons. These could be metaphors for birth, growth, reproduction, decline and the afterlife. They could be understood to be entirely different things too; the truth is in the eye of the beholder.

With such physical grace being performed, what the show is about becomes second to how good these ideas are expressed. The audience audibly gasped and clapped in approval throughout following not just perfectly timed risky stunts but also beautifully choreographed movements. Two stand-outs were playful sexy routines, one that appreciated the male form by itself and another that saw a couple wriggling their hips as passion came alive in their courting. Another that could be a metaphor for adolescence saw everybody on stage trying to lick their elbows getting big laughs from the audience. There was so much happening on stage at once during this that the laughter came in waves as everybody’s attention got drawn to someone else at different times.

The soundtrack throughout the performance was as varied as the moods and moments that can be experienced in life. All of them suitable to the individual piece they played over and enjoyable to listen in their own right. It felt as if the best stuff was earlier on in the programme, but they were all of such a high standard. Circa impresses with the skills and flexibility of those performing on stage, the ever-present risk of how difficult it is to pull of these movements and the enchanting beauty of form throughout. Quite simply put, shows by Circa are the shows to see in Brisbane at the moment. At the end of opening night of ‘Humans’ the crowd gave a standing ovation.

Circa’s ‘Humans’ plays at Queensland Performing Arts Centre until 9 December.

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