Director: Felicity Simpson
This evening’s performance was preceded by a short piece from The Circus Project, a wonderful Brighton charity founded in 1999 by Emma and Dave Taylor, which has gone on to become a well-established aerial circus training facility in Brighton. We watched the accomplished young performers twirl and hang from silks and a swing imagining the thrill it must be for them to perform at the dome, which they richly deserved.
Hailing from Colombia, Circolombia was created to provide professional opportunities for graduates of Colombia’s national circus school, Circa Para Todos, which is committed to supporting and training young people at risk. The show, directed by Felicity Simpson does not disappoint. There must have been some serious training!
After opening with a piece introducing our performers, with choreographed dance, we see a man seeming to fall from the balcony in the Brighton Dome. He falls head first and the lights cut. The audience gasps. This is the kind of spectacle we can expect from Circolumbia. They are dare devils with raw energy, serious talent and a south American party vibe. It is a shame that the auditorium isn’t full but, despite the fears of Omicron keeping some people away perhaps, the audience make plenty of sounds of appreciation as the risky stunts and set pieces astound.
This is stripped back circus, there is no particular narrative. It is about attitude of courage. The performers throw themselves in with great gusto, plenty of rhythm and big grins. You cannot help but be drawn into their enthusiasm and playfulness. You sense a tight team too as you watch the spotters ready to catch another performer in the most risky of tricks.
The two female singers have power houses of voices providing us with moments away from the action or enhancing the electric atmosphere as you watch with baited breath as the next dare devil act.
There is beautiful sensuality too as in one piece two performers dance and writhe while one is suspended from the other in death defying beautiful poses with no safety harness, it is both elegant and stomach knotting to watch.
We see the performers jump effortlessly high on and off a sea saw, and later a wooden tightrope, enacting incredible mid air gymnastics with spins and twists somehow landing on their feet in impossible places.
A metal golden circle is held aloft balanced amazingly on one man’s head while the incredibly accomplished female performer hangs, twists and balances with grace and incredible strength.
Amongst so many bold tricks and stunts, there are towers created of bodies, two performers lifted aloft holding a rope in their teeth and a captivating piece with a women on a very high rope swing. She seemed to touch the ceiling with her joyous swings, the gathering are relieved to see her safety rope as she flies above them doing beautiful trick after trick on her rope.
The audience, including many excited children, is pumped from the stomping sound track, live vocals, joyful dance moves and the jaw dropping efforts of the performers. After a standing ovation, whoops and whistles of joy, a final piece of dance closes the piece, with a performer twirling high suspended by a magical umbrella! It is a magical end to the show and the audience leaves happily, chatting about the incredible spectle they have just witnessed.
Runs to 27th December 2022