Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Human Dramaturgy: Yaron Lifchitz @ Edfringe 2017

Circa: Humans
Presented by Underbelly and Circa
Underbelly Circus Hub (Lafayette), The Meadows, Edinburgh, EH9 9EX
Friday 4th – Saturday 26th August 2017 (not 9th, 14th, 21st), 19:00

After taking Sydney Festival by storm earlier this year, the world-renowned Circa (Beyond, Wunderkammer, Closer) return to the Edinburgh Fringe with a striking new show - a stirring journey of what it means to be human, and how our bodies, connections and aspirations all form part of who we are.

Here, ten acrobats question how much we can take as humans, exploring the physical limits of their bodies as they are pushed to the extreme. How much weight can we carry? Who can we trust to support our load? They lead us to reflect on our lives, our loved ones, the burdens we carry and the physical and emotional strength it takes to overcome them.

What was the inspiration for this performance?

Donald Hall said ‘a poem is a human inside talking to a human inside’. I think that was the starting point.  Who are we inside, what makes our work able to communicate clear emotions and states of being without being obvious or rational? How can we make our acrobatics more and more human – about us, rather than despite us. 

Is performance still a good space for the public discussion of ideas? 

It could be but not the performance I make. The ideas sit behind the show, the show itself is an organic thing – I am much more interested in its humanity, its truth and its feeling than its ideas. 

How did you become interested in making performance? 

I am naturally curious. And when I went to the theatre I felt it was an amazing place – we all gather, anything is possible. Theatre is absolutely my favourite place on the planet. And then the lights come up and people start saying lines and I fall asleep. So I was curious to find out what would keep me awake? What would make theatre a place of electricity, of connection and of vitality rather than of plays.

Is there any particular approach to the making of the show?

Start with doubt, eat your own intestines, become convinced you will never work again, try not to show it, keep working, spot a glimmer of something you don’t hate, polish it and grow it, make more mistakes, repeat above processes until it’s time to stop.

Does the show fit with your usual productions?

In some ways yes - it is stripped back, acrobatically strong and full of great performances. But it is also looking for quite a new style – based on groove, on heartbeat and movement. Something that I hope is more alive.  In Humans, ten acrobats question how much we can take as humans, exploring the physical limits of their bodies as they are pushed to the extreme.  We’re exploring ideas around how much weight can we carry and who can we trust to support our load.

What do you hope that the audience will experience? 

I want them to feel the show in their heart and their guts. I want their breath to stop. I want them to cry. 

What strategies did you consider towards shaping this audience experience?

For me, it doesn’t work that way. I never focus on the audience. I try to make the best art I can and I believe that people who come with open eyes and hearts and minds will discover something powerful in encountering authentic work. This is art, not entertainment.

Created by Yaron Lifschitz, Circa’s Artistic Director, the stage is stripped bare as the vulnerability of a team of highly skilled acrobats is exposed. With incredible strength and integrity they connect each moment seamlessly with the next in a thrilling and heart-stopping performance. Glimpse their humanity as they as they find redemptive power in strength and celebrate what it means to be fiercely human.

Circa's reputation for fearless, boundary-pushing new circus is borne out in every one of their shows, which combine physical virtuosity with an expressive humanism.

Underbelly director Ed Bartlam comments, We’re delighted to be welcoming Circa back to Underbelly with Humans, following its premiere at Sydney Festival, as part of our varied Circus Hub programme which continues to bring the best in international circus to the Fringe. Underbelly have been working with Circa in Edinburgh since 2012 and Circa's commitment to creating original, challenging and striking contemporary circus is something that we’re thrilled to be able to bring to an Edinburgh audience once more.

Humans by Circa is commissioned by MA scène nationale - Pays de Montbéliard.

Circa acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. This project has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Ministry for the Arts' Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.
Circa: Humans
Performance Dates Friday 4th – Saturday 26th August (not 9th, 14th, 21st), 19:00
Running time 60 minutes

Previews: £11.50 (£10.50) Weekday: £17.50 (£16.50) Weekend: £19.50 (£18.50)

Director Yaron Lifschitz Technical Director Jason Organ Costume Design Libby McDonnell
Performers Caroline Baillon Nathan Boyle

Marty Evans Keaton Hentoff-Killian Bridie Hooper Nathan Knowles Todd Kilby Cecilia Martin Daniel O’Brien Kimberley O’Brien

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