‘Circuit’ arrived at The Lowry Theatre this weekend – but did the rounds of the streets rather than the auditorium to create an innovative, socially-distanced performance for an intrigued audience.
Black excellence, human connection and astronomy were the themes for three highly-visual and challenging creations which unfolded before us on a chilly day in the Quays.
First, Humanhood: Sphere, the exploration of astronomy through dance. Second was Ockhams Razor: Together, a piece about the human desire for connection. And last came Joseph Toonga: Born to Protest, a hip-hop dance piece curated by Joseph to highlight black excellence.
Like its name, the outdoor show ran as a circuit all around the back of the theatre performing on different impromptu stages.
The first performance was Sphera, from Humanhood, consisting of two co-artistic directors Rudi Cole and Julia Robert. The performance saw the pair of dancers performing smooth and eloquent movements that integrated concepts from physics and astronomy.
The opening minutes were confusing but the movement drew the audience in, despite the chill, as the piece began to come together.
The passion and determination of the dancers shone through with strong facial expressions throughout the performance reinforcing the emotions and themes.
Next was Ockhams Razor’s Together with a stunning portrayal of desire for human connection, exploring loneliness, becoming free and the fight.
This aerial theatre company combined circus and visual theatre under the artistic direction of Alex Harvey, Charlotte Mooney and Tina Koch.
We were met at the stage with Alex Harvey in a transparent box. He was looking around him curiously before he began to move.
His movements were so impressive and showed how much strength he had as he manoeuvred his body around the box, from supporting himself on his feet, sliding down the box even rotating his body to be upside down.
Alex, one of the artistic directors, portrayed a trapped man yearning for freedom and human connection.
During the performance, another dancer appeared to perform aerial stunts and poses on the pole outside the box.
The two mirrored each other’s movements travelling further up the box and pole to meet each other. They pressed their hands against the box meeting each other in real desperation to feel.
The performance ended how both the performers and audience wanted it to, with Alex finding his way out of the box and the pair moving down the pole aerially before connecting freely and being able to touch one another.
Lastly was probably the most thought-provoking performance of the day, Born To Protest. Four lads exploring Black Excellence.
Sitting on the steps they appeared around the corner and my first thought was these lads are just cool, they oozed charisma and charm.
The performance began with them dancing and singing to upbeat music.
They were real crowd-pleasers connecting with the audience pointing to members and making us laugh and feel joy.
They then began portraying the vulnerability black men are forced to feel due to the still very apparent incorrect representation of themselves in today’s society.
These untrue representations are dismantled during the performance and we see the men portraying their need to prove themselves against stereotypes and constant battle to be treated as equals.
The men in the performance were fantastic, they moved and performed so powerfully and so full of energy, emotion, power and strength.
They made me feel everything, from joy to anger to upset in the most thought-provoking performance I have ever seen.
Salford Now covers a wide range of theatre and live performances. You can read and discover more of these on our website.