DanceBase @ Out of the Blue Drill Hall
14-27 (ex. 17,24) August, times vary.
There are very few aerialists out there, and the skill itself is so astonishing that any display has great natural appeal.
This performance has some graceful and technically difficult sequences. Some moments are astoundingly beautiful, making observers yearn to float and spin effortlessly through the air in similar fashion. A rope sequence, in which performers without harnesses hover alarmingly close to the audience, is engagingly expressive and gives a palpable sense of danger.
A parody of The Matrix’s fight sequences is deftly amusing, and one aerialist walks sideways down a pole with such chic composure that the audience was genuinely stunned.
However, the ‘storyline’ is insubstantial and incomprehensible in a way that only a sci-fi-themed physical performance can be. For my money there was too much low-tech writhing-around in an attempt to express dodgy artistic concepts (a DJ with a God complex imprisons clubbers using his hypnotic music for example). More visual props, or a stronger storyline, might have added clarity to the action, sustaining interest during the slower sequences (there to provide necessary respite for the performers).
While bursts of the show are excellent the performers’ impact is undermined by an insubstantial plot resulting in many tediously incomprehensible linking segments.