Soy impresionado! Circolombia packed out the Roundhouse on Saturday night and put on a brilliantly energetic show that had me on the edge of my seat, in awe of the physical capabilities of the human body.
A circus act (sans the elephants and scary clowns), these acrobats come from the Colombian National School of Circo Para Todos, which means “circus for all”.
The school was set up about 13 years ago by a British woman called Felicity Simpson, a former circus performer herself. Many students are recruited from the shatytowns of Cali in southwest Colombia through workshops. It aims to help kids to believe in their abilities and showcase their talents, rather than their poverty. And they certainly have a lot of talent.
Set to a Latin American reggaeton soundtrack, they put on a modern, passionate adaptation of the tragedy Echo and Narcissus with freerunning, dance, flips, tightrope walking, flinging bodies through the air in many different ways and an incredible act that involves a man supporting a giant ring on his forehead, arms outstretched for balance, thigh muscles bulging, while a woman climbs up into the ring and proceeds to maneuver herself around and upsidedown. It is a show of passion, precision and what must be an incredible amount of trust in one another and concentration.
By the end, the crowd was standing with foot-stamping, whistling, wild applause.
There’s no time left to catch them in London, (if there was, I would probably go again…) but I’d highly recommend a trip down to Brighton where they are on as part of Brighton Fringe Fest until 21 May.
Fringe Fest says: “The city’s the thread of the creation, incorporating both joy and violence – a freestyle portrait of a society where dance and music are the great safety valves of everyday life. Volcanic, wild, perfectly mastered acrobatics.”
And – it has to be said – plenty of eye candy.