SCOOP! Intense energy captured inside a huge inflatable sphere

11 Jan 2021

SCOOP! Intense energy captured inside a huge inflatable sphere

We’re delighted to be presenting a new performance from Circa at SCOOP! this weekend.

One of the world’s leading performance companies, they’re very much at the forefront of the new wave of contemporary Australian circus – pioneering how extreme physicality can create powerful and moving performances.

And we couldn’t be happier that they will be debuting their brand-new work Collider in a unique, massive inflatable performance space at SCOOP! this weekend.

We had five minutes with choreographer Elise May, and she told us a little more about herself and this incredible performance that you’ll be able to see at the SCOOP! evening sessions.

‘I’ve only just recently joined Circa as Resident Choreographer and I’m really excited to be part of such an creative and inspiring team. I’m really enjoying the challenge of using my understanding of choreography in a completely new context. I come from a contemporary dance performance background but have always admired the athleticism, skill and form of the Circus genre. It is exciting to work with elite performers who are generous, hard-working and highly creative. ‘

The performance will take place at SCOOP! inside Torus, a giant transparent inflatable performance structure designed by Circa’s artistic director Yaron Lifschitz in response to conversations about the future of live performance and the necessity for COVID-19 friendly performance environments.

Elise told us:

‘The shape of the structure is inspired by the Hadron Collider, the largest particle accelerator of its kind in the world. The 27 kilometre scientific invention harnesses electromagnetic energy causing travelling partials at the speed of light to collide. The data from these experiments has led to scientific discoveries about the unique behaviour of the smallest building blocks of our universe.

‘I’m interested in the idea that the performing human body can generate similar intensity in acrobatic flight. As each performer launches their body through space there is potential for both freedom or collision. The resulting energy from these chance encounters has the potential to transform the live experience for both the performers and those watching. The Circus form provides so much fertile ground for exploration and the possibilities are endless.’

Elise found that developing work for such a new and unusual performance space presented challenges but also opportunities.

‘Torus is a circus tent with a difference.  Unlike traditional circus tents designed to house performers and audience inside the tent, Torus is air-tight and is lined with a circular purpose-build acrobatic flooring that allow the performers to work their magic. The audience sit outside and peer into the performance through the transparent curved walls of the large unique sculptural structure.

Torus is massive. Even after being briefed on the dimensions, I had to blink twice when I stood in front of the structure for the first time. I’ve always been fascinated by large-scale art and architecture. The human body feels so small and insignificant in comparison to such large statements of awe-inspiring beauty. I think this manipulation of space and perception is interesting in performance, and this structure has the impact of an art installation, yet is met with the stage-like conventions of live performance. This is an interesting balancing act and I think whilst any new area of experimentation in performance comes with its inherent challenges, Circus is the perfect form with which to experiment in a context like this. It has been interesting to see the work adapt and change in response to Torus. She has a mind of her own and we have had fun getting to know her.

‘I hope that Torus will stir the imagination and that the spectacle of live performance in such a unique environment will be not only thought-provoking, but entertaining. I hope that the audience will be inspired by the incredible acrobatic skill of the performers.’

Get your SCOOP! tickets now and don’t miss this incredible work as part of a packed program of performances, live music and of course, ice-cream!

You can catch Circa’s Collider as part of Club SCOOP! on Fri 15 and Sat 16 January between 6 and 9.30pm.