Like a delicately entwined ecosystem, the five acrobats of 'Fauna' appeared onstage, swaying and stepping in harmony, each dependent upon the other.
Any living environment, although intricately connected, is comprised of a diversity of creatures, with each playing a role and possessing unique and essential traits. It was made clear from the outset that the world of 'Fauna' is either beyond or before verbal communication; meaning and intention could only be conveyed through the contortion and manipulation of the body and by the majestic soundscapes crafted by guitarist and percussionist Geordie Little.
While spoken language undoubtedly allows for nuance and specificity, all the essential human emotions can be expressed with the body. In nature, some depend upon others for their existence; husband and wife pair Daniel and Rhiannon Cave-Walker deliver routines of sublime intimacy and interconnection. Some are fiercely protective of their space and mates, like the comedic Enni-Maria Lymi. Others, like the reptilian Matt Pasquet, are predatory, hunting and stalking those that share their habitat.
Little’s music is stark and ominous whenever Pasquet appears. In contrast, the joyful radiance of a bird of paradise emanates when Imogen Huzel flourishes upon the stage. All of this meaning lies beneath the surface; upon the surface, 'Fauna' contains elite and jaw-widening acrobatic artistry that would warrant attendance even if the show were stripped to these physical feats alone; trapeze, handstands, tumbles and flips.
Clapping almost felt like blasphemy; an incursion into the environment of these majestic creatures.
'Fauna' is more than a sum of its parts; it is a synergy of dynamic and creative forces that is as beautiful as life itself.
'Fauna' plays Ukiyo at Royal Croquet Club until 19 March.