[Fringe] ‘Wunderkammer’

Another impulse decision. I had heard next to nothing about this piece. But as I have been looking into Aerial Silks classes of late, and having a developing interest in the circus arts for the majority of my latter teens until present, this seemed like a good idea.

Talk about understatement.

Circa: Wunderkammer
edfringe 2013

If semi-naked, muscular and honed physiques that remind the average audience member of those forgotten and unused gym memberships are not for you, it won’t make a difference. You’ll get over it pretty quickly. Incorporating physical strength, human oddities, clowning and silliness, there is so much to enjoy on one stage, it is hard to know where to begin.

One of the more breathtaking moments of the show was the pole routine between two of the male cast members. The athleticism and balletic qualities of each surpassed the remarkable, and yet sent my mind on a complete tangent during their routine.

It reminded me of the furor from years gone by when it was suggested that pole work should be implemented into school sports curriculum in the UK. Unsurprisingly parents exploded, associating pole work with the dingy and smutty nature of sleazy strip bars and grinding dancers.

It is a shame the pole has this reputation, considering its provenance in the circus and Chinese poles. The elegance with which these performers graced it challenge the presumption that pole work is not a thing of beauty (and if you don’t believe me, check out a certain Jenyne Butterfly. You won’t regret it).

Equally as mesmerising was watching one member launch themselves at another, crotch first and at head height. This is a perfect example of marrying complexity and the effortlessly simple. I’d give more examples, but it would ruin the fun for those who are yet to see the Australian wonder that is Wunderkammer.

‘Circa: Wunderkammer’ at McEwan Hall

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