tisdag 28 december 2010

Inside the true electric circus


Jon:
I have written before about circus. Or more specifically: Contemporary Circus. The contemporary circus artists really are a sort of role model of athleticism for me. They are well rounded in almost all aspects of the word (except maybe when it comes to cardio vascular capacity). Kudos to them.

Contemporary circus as art or performance however is often another story. Pornographic in the the sense that it uses a story a a framework for the show that is at best secondary to the tricks - the money shot. The story also has a tendency to be quite pretentious dwelling on such subjects as mental disease, fractals etc. Until a few day ago I thought that this was the destiny of contemporary circus: cool tricks loosly connected by a story that just might include a pizza boy or the pool boy. I like it when I'm right.......but I love it when I'm wrong. And boy was I wrong!
Went to see Oscar and the other guys performance the other day and I completely blown away. I haven't laughed this much since ........ (insert optional whatever).

The show really doesen't tell a 'story'. It has a framework in that you sort of recognize
the narrative: Four guys being guys. That's it. No Fibonacci numbers, no Wittgenstein, no paranoia. Just very well performed physical comedy.
I am certainly out of my element trying to unwind the historical background of comedy but for me the success of the show has something to do with it not taking the cirkus as a whole as a mould for its structure but rather the clown.
Contemporary circus usually comes across to me as really beeing traditional circus were the different numbers are connected not only by the tent, the ring, the sawdust or history and tradition but also by a 'story'.
This performance however takes the figure of the clown and enhances it to a whole show. The clown as being the most versatile figure in the circus, capable of performing a large variety of tricks bound together not by story but rather by character.

For me this is a oh so much more intelligent approach than the 'let's tell a story' one. There is no gasping between the tricks and there is no 'youtube trick fatigue'. As an audience you get so involved in the characters that the tricks no longer are you just tricks that might or might not have seen before but rather tricks performed by someone that you know and care about.
Bravo, bravo, fuckin BRAVO!!!
If you're in Bcn, go and watch it.

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