The Sibiu International Theatre Festival (FITS) has also a section of contemporary circus, where companies all over the world mesmerize the audience with outstanding performances. This year, I’ve met Australian Circa Ensemble, which came to Sibiu to present Humans. Actually, this performance had it’s premiere at Sibiu for their international European tour.
But what is contemporary circus, I’ve asked myself after these artists have caught my breath during their performance. On a simple search on Google, the answer is not really easy to find or even academic, but I’ve found out that “In the evolution from traditional towards ‘new’ circus, the insertion of theatrical means (like dramaturgy, story line and dramatic characters) is an attempt to create an elastic format that is able to unite the art of the fragment and the art of totality, as a contemporary reworking of Wagner’s Gesamtkünstwerk. The combination of dramatic (‘classic’) unity and the post-dramatic fragment is further explored into what we call ‘contemporary circus’. Here, unity in performance is visual and fragment-like (instead of narrative and holistic), reflected into a dramaturgy of fragments of stories, images, atmospheres, visual landscapes, tableaux and scenes”, as Disturbis portal explains.
Returning to our local stage with the Australian artists, Humans represents a stirring journey of what it means to be human, exploring the physical limits of their bodies as they are pushed to the extreme.
The ten artists team of Circa Ensemble basically connect each moment with the next one in a heart-stopping performance: these people aren’t humans. Their bodies seem to be as light as a feather while creating a human body tower of about two highs, three highs and at one point even a four high, not to mention how they revitalise acrobatics, hand-to-hand partnering, pyramid building, banquine and risley.
All in all, words are not enough to describe what’s happening on the stage. Circa Ensemble will tour to Europe, so if you are traveling these summer days, check if they are in town – it’s definitely a must see performance to celebrate what it means to be fiercely human.