Australian Gravity Troupe

We already knew what firewood these stunt acrobats were up to, ready to take up any challenge, with their little smirks. Without apparatus or apparatus. But we had never had the opportunity to see them all together on stage.

We wrote it a few days ago, The Pulse was created during the pandemic, when all of the company’s acrobats were forced to return home. This show is the result of their work as a group.

Despite a somewhat laborious set-up – even if it is true that there are 60 of them having to settle on stage – the acrobatic piece directed by Darcy Grant was finally able to take off.

In the execution, the director multiplies the freeze frames with colored backgrounds. An aerial dive. Black. An aerial pyramid figure. Black. A collapsing column. Black. Like little flashes or Polaroids. Pulses of life.

Everything is of course punctuated by the (magnificent) voices of the young women of the Orfeò Català choir. A marriage that we had never seen or heard before, and which gives real depth to The Pulse.

Let’s quickly pass on the hubbub that followed – the time to assemble ropes from the bleachers to the stage. Another pointless back-and-forth moment… Fortunately, the show was able to resume with another terrific sequence where the 24 acrobats of Gravity were able to showcase their joyous recklessness.

The humor of the troupe, so present in its previous shows, is not at the heart of this creation – even if there is a rather cracking scene where one of the acrobats jumps on the stomachs of his comrades – lying on back – to elicit little cries of pain from them.

For the rest, Darcy Grant invites us rather to a kind of ode to the acrobat, in a piece choreographed to the millimeter – with sometimes a little too much zeal. During the 70 minutes of the piece, the artists indeed spend far (too much) time “positioning”.

Nevertheless. The Pulse demonstrates to us – with supporting evidence – that the circus is not an individual art. The most stunning (and most original) acrobatic sequences are indeed the result of a collective effort and collaborative work. A key part of the show.

Does The Pulse manage to create a sense of intimacy on stage as director Darcy Grant intended? At times, yes. But it is above all this dialogue between the voice and the body that hits the mark. For the rest, we still have the impression that it was a lot (too) many people to manage on stage at the same time.