Humans is to the circus what the 'Mona Lisa' is to a doodle of a smiley face. Sure there are similarities, but really it’s in a different league.
Humans is and ten-strong acrobatic dance show created by Yaron Lifschtiz and the Circa Ensemble. Set to backdrop of striking and distinctive music, the performers jump, fall, contort and balance their way through a mesmerising progressive dance set.
The show was powerful and emotional without the need to signal specific feelings or issues. Lifschitz and Circa are so (justifiably) confident of the quality of their performance that they didn’t try and shoe-horn in narrative, characters or dialogue. The bodies speak for themselves, and they speak in poetry. The whole show was entrancing; ten acrobats flowing on and off the stage fluidly, performing marvel after marvel with nary a break or let up.
A striking, and again really classy, touch was that Humans is clearly put together as a complete show rather than simply a series of tricks strung together. This was underlined by how every piece melded into the next, leaving no room for cheesy ‘ta da!’ moments or applause. The effect was to ramp up the immersion so that what was over an hour without words or story just flew by.
Though clearly a considered and impressive piece, Humans stops well short of taking itself too seriously. Genuinely funny and light-hearted elements break up the more intense sections, helping the audience make mental room for the next grand piece. This is just another sign of the thought, class and confidence of the performance.
The acrobat dancers of the Circa Ensemble are of course phenomenal at what they do. It really is a beautiful thing to see such strong and skilful bodies moving with such grace and power. The feats they are able to flawlessly pull off are mind boggling, but the fluidity of their movements means you have to keep reminding yourself quite how remarkable what you are seeing is.
I didn’t know what to expect when coming into the theatre, but I am so happy I went. A truly unique show that I would urge you to catch if you can.