'Statum' is an engaging and unique performance for all ages, full of physicality, fun, and challenges to our new, data-driven world.
Performed by Flipside Circus in collaboration with Counterpilot, 'Statum' is a feat of physical strength, stamina and beauty, fused with tech and big data elements.
From the opening scene, 'Statum' challenged the audience. The posh, male computer voice guiding us through the session asked who would hand over their unlocked phone to the 'Statum' team – and to my privacy-enforcing shock, quite a few people actually volunteered their phones! But then, aren’t we voluntarily giving up data every time we, for example, click 'like' on Facebook? These are the types of questions 'Statum' asked its audience.
The show encouraged the audience to see things from a different point of view; whether quite literally seeing a handstand from a different angle, or stopping time, or asking what is data, exactly? The use of voiceover was inspired, as were the screen, cameras, and video dispersed throughout the show. The digital elements weren’t even remotely gimmicky – they added to – rather than distracted from – the physicality associated with a circus performance.
But the physicality remained the main event. Performers ranged in age from around 10, to around 17. The muscle strength, flexibility and control displayed by the performers was extraordinary, as well as the awareness of their interactions. It was wonderful to see young people using their bodies in a way that celebrated their strength and utility, and finding the beauty in that, rather than the sexualisation demonstrated in so many other arenas. Where romance was referred to, it was strictly for comic relief (and there were quite a few funny moments!).
Flipside Circus and Counterpilot should be applauded for their creativity and innovation. And in fact, they were. The performance was so impressive that they received a very well-deserved – and very emphatic – standing ovation.
'Statum' plays Brisbane Powerhouse until 26 October.