DanceNorth WestReview

Attrape-Moi! (Catch me) – The Lowry, Salford

Reviewer: Peter Jacobs

Flip FabriQue is a company created in 2011 by graduate students of Quebec City Circus School. The company creates shows that combine dazzling circus acrobatics within a setting that is both festive and poetic. Creating spectacle that has a human, individual scale, based very much on the personalities of the performers.

The scenario for Attrape-Moi (Catch Me) is six friends meeting up after a long time apart to share a day of renewed friendship and memories – and making new ones. The six, meet at a colourful two-storey beach house in a thunderous rainstorm that has been raging since before curtain up. As the rain clears they realise the gang are all present and joy ensues. The show works its way through a perfect day via an impressive display of circus skills. The style is very natural and unforced. There is clowning around but (mercifully) no clowns and the antic behaviour clearly emanates from their individual personalities.

The show is cleverly choreographed and set to a diverse and interesting range of music from the likes of Sufjan Stevens, The Cinematic Orchestra, Hofesh Shechter (in his guise as a composer), Wolf Parade and even a joyous slab of Barry Manilow. This gives the different sections distinct energies and feels and broadens the audience appeal.

The front wall of the house doubles as a chalkboard on which they write their names – Jo, Jay, Seb, Bruno, Hugo and Jade – and messages like ‘the end of summer’ and ‘Her & I’. The circus elements are presented in a series of loose scenes and delivered with a casual lack of fuss that belies the level of skill presented. Preparation for the big tricks is minimal and props are discovered as if happily lying around and put to use.

So, there is duo juggling set to beatboxing, which ups the energy and almost underplays the difficulty of the complex interplay. There is a duo diabolo section, which is remarkably effortlessly tricky. Then comes a contemplative display of elegantly choreographed aerial straps that poetically underpins the idea of shared memory. Jade then presents a display of hula hoops that belies the degree of difficulty, allowing herself the occasional knowing smile at the audience – yeah, she just did that.

The giant beach ball section is great fun and brings the group literally bouncing back together and introduces the roof of the house as a stage. Jade delivers some quietly-spectacular aerial hoop before nightfall as sleeping bags are produced from the house and thrown from the windows. Tumbling in sleeping bags looks wonderfully daft and seems joyfully foolhardy. A night-time display of acrobalance illuminated only by handheld torches paints a firefly display that illuminates the adagio lifts and the characters of the group.

Come morning and they find – of all things – a giant trampoline and the finale brings everyone together for a truly dazzling display as the house become a trampwall. Again, the lack of fuss and enormous sense of fun demonstrates the friendship and level of trust, time and commitment it takes to achieve this level of seemingly effortless physical skill. This section is tremendous: precise, dynamic and effervescent.

Attrape-Moiis fun for all ages delivered with hugely-natural charm and humour that comes across as a celebration of life, youth and friendship – driven by the six distinct and diverse performers and the fresh soundtrack, with a cleansing lack of artifice obscuring the art. This is how they are and this is what they do – ramped up a little. And it’s very catching.

Reviewed on 3rd April 2018 | Image: Contributed

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The North West team is under the editorship of John Roberts. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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