Featuring an all-female cast of three, this is most definitely not your granddad’s idea of circus. This is a fusion of performance art, dance, and physical theatre with elements of circus skills used to challenge our expectations of what circus can be.
Proud, defiant and well worthy of the extended applause.
Opening with the performers wrapped in white cloth dragging themselves across a stage strewn with lamps, Monsteria is a response piece to the objectification and portrayal of women in circus. As with all performance art, there are moments of extreme beauty and clarity and other moments that are very open to interpretation.
The circus elements include acrobalance, tumbling, slack rope, and aerial hoop but each skill is used almost secondary to the chorography of the piece. The cast are clearly talented in their individual skills and, even though this show purposefully rarely invites it, a few of the tricks and skits draw applause.
The women on stage, always masked, are presented to us as writhing creatures, embracing and shedding archetypes and tropes. These women are vulnerable and then strong before we see the warrior, the glamour-puss, and finally, after a moment that invites and even challenges us to objectify their physicality, they appear as goddesses wrapped again in white cloth but this time they are proud, defiant and well worthy of the extended applause.