Humans 2.0 begins with a flash of light as 11 bodies appear, moving in harmony around a round stage space framed by exposed lightbulbs, before their physical limits are pushed to extremes. Created by director Yaron Lifschitz, Humans 2.0 is circus at its best, an amalgamation of acrobatics, sound and light that builds and expands upon Circa’s internationally acclaimed work Humans.
Precarious positioning sees, perhaps, more balancing close to the ground than in other Circa shows, but such segments are punctuated by aerial rope, silk and swing pieces and human towers that grow on stage to three and four people high. As if the gravity-defying feats aren’t impressive enough, when human catapults launch performers across the stage, audience jaws are appropriately agape.
All members of the ensemble (Jon Bonaventura, Holly-Rose Boyer, Nathan Boyle, Alice Muntz, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Gerramy Marsden, Kathryn O’Keefe, Paul L’Keefe, Lachlan Sukroo, Billie Wilson-Coffey, and Ashley Youren) are incredibly talented. Expressive contemporary dance is embedded within circus stunts and there is a slow motion focus on intentions from performers when at the front of the stage, connecting them more with the audience than would otherwise be the case.
When Paul Jackson’s dramatic lighting pulses red, along with composer Ori Lichtik’s original techno-type music, things become even more dynamic. This “second” in the company’s Humans series remains a love letter to our species, with new skills and sequences serving to refresh and enhance its offering. Humans 2.0 is also powerfully poetic in its exploration of what circus can be, with the company continuing to reinvent the genre’s possibilities. There are many astonishing moments that lead to spontaneous applause. Transitions are smooth and the energy level never drops.
At the core of it all is the idea of supportive strength from unity, the connectedness that unites humanity and the trust that enables reliance upon others. Awareness of oneself and others is vital to success in the work and brings the thematic depth that serves Circa’s signature style. The commanding dexterity of the company’s disciplined performers is simply remarkable.
Humans 2.0 is showing at QPAC until 20th November.
For more of Meredith Walker’s theatre reviews, check out Blue Curtains Brisbane.