Circus Troupe Reveals How It’s Done
by Ariela Martin | Jun 29, 2012 11:40 am
Posted to: Arts & Entertainment
“Red Ball” is harder than it looks—especially if you try performing in Circa. At least you got a glimpse to the inner world of preparing, choreographing, and performing a captivating show.
New Haven got a chance not just to watch the Australian theater-circus troupe perform this week at the Arts & Ideas Festival. (Final show is Saturday.) Some people also got a chance to step into the performers’ shoes, at a master class focusing on the rudimentary athletic skills involved.
Red Ball was one of the activities taught by Diane Stern, tour manager/ director of Circa, and Casey Douglas, one of the seven Circa performers, at the master class on Wednesday morning at Broadway Lofts.
By Stern’s definition, the objective of “Red Ball” is to hold a constant point of contact between two individuals, whether through the touch of fingertips to a full body embrace. Some 20 people participated in the workshop, while ten others watched on the side.
Those brave enough to endure the activities warmed up with Douglas through stretches and movements before playing Red Ball, switching partners every few minutes. “Activation”, in which the touch of one individual “activates” motion in another individual, was another technique used to teach the enthusiastic attendees of the master class.
The final exercise of the master class incorporated the previously taught techniques during the 90-minute session. Although none of the activities added up to the skill and expertise of performers of Circa, attendees experienced a little glimpse of the world of Circa.
Seven Australia-based members of Circa performed a combination of acrobatics, tumbling, fast paced movements “that moves the heat, mind, and soul. We hope the audience is moved in some or all of those ways,” said Stern.
Circa’s five shows were performed in the theater at Cooperative Arts in Humanities High School, as part of the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.
Circa has toured in over 18 countries since 2006. Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz described the performance as “a report on what is alive, nourishing and contemporary in circus. It is also a strange and curious new beast; at once savage, funny, lyrical, pure, and challenging.”
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