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Review: How Like An Angel

09:00 02 July 2012

How Like an Angel at Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Chris Taylor.

How Like an Angel at Norwich Cathedral. Photo: Chris Taylor.

(C) Chris Taylor Photo

Norwich Cathedral hosted the European premiere of an astounding piece of acrobatic dance theatre, that gripped and overwhelmed JAMES GOFFIN.

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There’s an inscription in one of the chapels at Norwich Cathedral that reads “except for the still part there would be no dance”.

In How Like An Angel that still point is a transfixed, emotionally toyed with audience that sits in the heart of the church as a phenonemal combination of music and physical theatre unfolds around them.

A collaboration between Australian circus company Circa and vocal ensemble I Fagiolini, the show was first performed in Australia, where it received some criticism for being performed in cathedrals.

But they seem a perfect venue, not just for the blend of spiritual choral music that pervades the performance – the small choir literally pursuing the audience with original and traditional music from across the centuries and continents.

The dance mixes daring aerial moves with physical, catwalk theatricality, as the “angels” falteringly grow accustomed to their bodies, collaborative and playful at first. With confidence comes arrogance and competiveness – literally climbing the pole in a allegory that matches Paradise Lost.

This is an astounding and awe-inspiring group of strong and powerful actor-acrobats backed by an inspiring score. A true testament, as Hamlet’s words suggest, to the glory of man – and some would say the glory of God.

t How Like an Angel will be performed at Ely Cathedral on July 2 and 3.

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