WHEN total strangers leaving a show are so excited and happy that they talk to each other, you know the performance has been something special. And this was an exceptional show that had the audience – of all ages – buzzing with delighted admiration.
Juggling and contemporary dance don’t have an obvious or immediate connection – until you see the sinuous, athletic and often beautiful movement of the four jugglers from Gandini Juggling, matched by the elegance and skill of four ballet dancers.
The result was an evening of charm, wit and at times quite breathtaking beauty.
The jugglers, with balls, hoops and clubs, and the dancers – two men and two women – create an hour of “ephemeral architectures,” circles and geometric shapes, balls and hoops arcing through the air, clubs whirling and spinning, as the performers mingle, flirt, tease and explore each other’s bodies and art forms.
At times, the eight performers use their own voices as a percussive sound track. Sometimes the only sound is the dancing feet and the clicking and clattering of the hoops and clubs. Sometimes the rhythmic movement is accompanied by passionate string quartets. The soundscape is as engaging as the performance itself.
There were some in the audience who thought they were coming to an evening of dance. Others were expecting a display of circus skills. All were surprised and delighted by the inspiring blend of contemporary dance and fluid balletic juggling.
The biggest surprise, perhaps, was the humour of the piece – physical comedy, visual jokes, word play. The best joke is the last one, as the lead juggler teases the audience with the possibilities of a closing scene.
Gandini Juggling will be touring this show – look out for a performance near you and treat yourself to an evening of playful dance and dazzling skill. FC