CircusFest 2014: She Would Walk the Sky at the Roundhouse
Sumptuous velvets, glittering tassels and soft shadows transform the Roundhouse into a hive of faded circus glamour and gilded dreamscapes as we glimpse into the labyrinthine, mysterious world of the Red River House. Here a Strong Man, Clown, the Red Woman and the Keeper of Time live secluded – isolated within their family fortress of circus tradition.
The acts are impressive and beautifully orchestrated, combining prose from the multi award-winning playwright Finegan Kruckemeyer and selected lines from the epic poem She Would Walk the Sky. Spectacular moments include the male cast’s leaps and jumps as they spring from padded see-saws and create dazzling shapes in the air. The Gate Keepers, played by Jessica McCrindle and Daniel Catlow, are adept on the tightrope, slinking across and diving from it in curling falls – Catlow even rides a bicycle across it at the finale.
The aerial rope skills of Mosez’s The Stoic One dazzle as he twists himself higher and higher into the grainy strand of rope, suddenly plummeting huge distances straight to the ground, suspended only by the tip of his cord. His descent is accompanied by brisk stokes of discordant violin, ensuring every unravelled coil of rope in his decent is utterly spine-tingling.
At the heart of the tale is the ongoing attraction between the obscure and ephemeral Distant One and the alluring Strong Man. Together they perform a series of sensual dances, intertwining strenuous gymnastics with fluid movement and mellifluous string music. At times the narrative becomes confused as Kruckemeyer’s prose and the poetry are meshed in odd, incoherent ways. At points Kane Petersen’s Clown often takes his comedic sketches too far, forcing his humour, which jars against the beauty of the music and movement.
Overall, She Would Walk the Sky is a beautiful piece of aged circus grandeur and mesmerising choreography set against a dynamic soundscape. Oozing charm and panache, the performance’s adept gymnastics and mesmerising movement will leave you in awe.
Photos: Ambra Vernuccio
She Would Walk the Sky is on at the Roundhouse until 17th April 2014, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for She Would Walk the Sky here: