Photo gallery: A circus spectacle inspired by the letter S

NNF14 - S by Circa. NNF14 - S by Circa.

Friday, May 16, 2014
11:51 AM

Acrobatic tricks and aerial acts are once again set to wow audiences as Australian circus troupe Circa returns to the festival - and this time around the company’s latest show is all inspired by the letter ‘s.’

Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more from Circa’s artistic director Yaron Lifschitz.

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NNF14 - S by Circa. Photo: Darcy Grant.NNF14 - S by Circa. Photo: Darcy Grant.

They have previously performed their acrobatics in the architectural splendour of Norwich Cathedral and in the colourful world of the Adnams Spiegeltent, and now Norwich Theatre Royal is the stage for Circa’s new show which shares its name with the nineteenth letter of the alphabet.

S is at the city venue on Sunday and Monday, and artistic director Yaron Lifschitz said the company was delighted to be returning to Norwich with a new production that he described as, “challenging, interesting and sexy - everything audiences have come to expect from our work.”

“S is a very fresh and exciting show. It’s very much in its infancy as a show and discovering itself,” he said, before explaining how the letter ‘s’ was the inspiration.

“S is a fascinating letter. It’s a wonderful shape full of symmetry and movement and the sound of ‘s’ is sinuous and sexy.

NNF14 - S by CircaNNF14 - S by Circa

“Also, ‘s’ has a grammatical function in that it’s how we make plurals in English, and I wanted to base the show on the group as a whole rather than just act after act after act.”

He stressed the show was not “the story of the letter ‘s,’” but rather an abstract interpretation by the seven acrobats who perform on a floating white diamond stage while accompanied by music from the Kronos Quartet.

“S features this amazing range of seamless ensemble acrobatics,” he said.

“It’s musically, physically and emotionally powerful. It’s almost like a rite, a ritual. It is a circus version of the Rite of Spring. It has a primal energy.”

NNF14 - S by Circa. Photo: Sean Young.NNF14 - S by Circa. Photo: Sean Young.

This is Circa’s fourth visit to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. In 2010 the company performed the Spiegeltent show, The Space Between, then How Like An Angel was premiered at Norwich Cathedral as part of the London 2012 Festival and the show returned last year when Circa also presented Beyond - a spectacle playing on the relationship between man and beast - in the Adnams Spiegeltent.

“We are delighted to be in Norwich again,” said Yaron.

“It’s one of our favourite places and it’s wonderful to have built up the support and the audiences, and to see our conversation with the audience getting richer and richer.”

When asked how S compares to their previous productions staged in Norwich, he said: “I think they are all interesting and very different. This show is a little more abstract, possibly a little more dance-like and a little posher. It’s a beautiful, powerful piece.”

He added: “It’s a rite, it’s a powerful, physical piece that sweeps the audience up and takes them on a journey, and I am looking forward to sharing that with the people of Norwich.”

• S is at Norwich Theatre Royal on Sunday, May 18 and Monday, May 19 at 8pm. Tickets £6.50-£26.50. For more information and to book visit www.nnfestival.org.uk or call 01603 766400.

• For more NNF Festival Focus features click here.

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