'Fauna' pushes the boundaries of contemporary circus acrobatics, trapeze and mime, set to an original acoustic guitar soundtrack.
A captivating exploration of primal behaviour created by performers from leading circus companies Gravity & Other Myths, NoFit State Circus, Seven Fingers and Poivre Rose. It combines contempory acrobatics, trapeze and mime.
Across the initially empty space, whistles like bird calls evoke a tropical forest (the action is accompanied throughout by music created by the Australian percussive guitarist Geordie Little). On this stage, bare of everything but a trapeze and a small copse of canes (sticks topped with blocks of wood the area of the palm of a hand), five young circus performers create a world inspired by the movements of spiders, lemurs, tree frogs, birds of paradise, etc. Rather than directly imitating these animal models, the performers amalgamate their shapes and distil their qualities – inquisitiveness, combativeness, tactility – into a series of vignettes and encounters.
Rhiannon and Daniel Cave-Walker attract and repel one another through springs, throws, jumps and intertwinings; Imogen Huzel hand-balances, bird-like, on the canes; Matt Pasquet’s frog- and reptile-suggesting sequences at times extend towards self-indulgence. Engaging overall (and, generally, technically accomplished) the work does not quite feel fully formed. The distancing from the animal models leads into abstraction that needs to be more sharply shaped and dynamically developed. For me, Enni-Maria Lymi on the trapeze most successfully creates a playful, intriguing presence, while still avoiding anecdotal anthropomorphism.
Witness the ritual of courtship, the aggression of competition, the Machiavellian cunning and the simple pleasure of play brought to life, set to an original live soundtrack by award-winning acoustic and percussive guitarist Geordie Little.
★★★★★ ‘An entrancing display of skills and finesse’Weekend Notes
‘Surprising, amusing, frequently physically impressive, occasionally frustrating – Fauna is a not quite circus, almost dance and nearly theatre....Such a cross-genre mix!’The Observer