A few years ago I took my children to a circus. It was an odd remnant of the circuses of my own childhood, without the big animals but with the very same now faded and jaded ringmaster. The sight of the clowns in their eerie smiling make-up and the atmosphere of sadness that permeated the tent put my kids off.
Two energy-filled, joyous hours of choreographed geometry and poetic dexterity
Thankfully NoFit State Circus have evolved and elevated the art form while keeping a certain intimacy with the return of their show, Bianco. I suspect I’ve enjoyed the coolest party Edinburgh will see this summer. In a promenade performance, the audience is moved about to be as close as possible to the action; there are no seats. The moving about does call for stout shoes rather than open-toed sandals, although at certain points we could sit on the floor. The performers mingle freely with the audience.
The shadow-play at the opening creates a tantalising glimpse of what’s to come: two energy-filled, joyous hours of choreographed geometry and poetic dexterity, all accompanied by the incredible vocals (from throat singing to falsetto) and eclectic musical set of the house band.
The performers become god-like, beautiful creatures who defy gravity and push physical boundaries in ways us mere mortals can only dream of. Scenarios hinting at traditional circus, Greek myth, burlesque and total anarchy are delivered with deceptive ease, many showcasing the trust each performer puts in their counter-balance partner. A lack of narrative to connect each piece doesn’t detract from the overall enchantment.
In a world overrun with superhero movies, these performers prove CGI is for wimps. This show was a sell-out last year and it is easy to see why; it has to be the sexiest show you will ever take your kids to. Up close and definitely personal.