REVIEW: Circolumbia, Acelere- London Premiere

 
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Colombian circus company Circolombia’s newest production Acelere saw a group of 12 performers introduce the Roundhouse main space audience to the Colombian circus scene, showcasing acrobats, dance, singing and music throughout the evening. The audience were constantly fearing someone was going to die, such as when performers jumped from the ceiling (but of course survived), or flew across the stage, and at one point, one even was lifted in the air by a cord around her neck; her weight supported in the air by the strength of somebody’s teeth. However, this element of risk and bravery is what made Circolombia’s performance so special.

 

The visuals were vibrant, with nearly every colour imaginable on stage at one time, particularly during the musical parts of the show.  Combining the extraordinary circus and dance skills with their original soundtrack featuring Spanish lyrics and melodies, the audience were highly drawn in for the whole performance, mesmerised by each detail.

 

The spectacularly risky elements of the show are what made Acelere so electrifying. Skills were performed without harnesses or any safeguarding, ensuring us further of the immense talent and hard training that was put behind this.  Though naturally a few slips took place throughout the performance, when performers may not have landed on their feet or fallen over each other, this did not discourage or hinder any of the Circolombia members to continue their high energy performance, continuing on and recovering themselves well, still entrancing the audience with their intense skills and unheard of bravery.

 

The most mesmerising part of the performance was when a performer climbed through the air to the ceiling and to the floor of the venue, and wrapped himself around a rope, sustained himself in the air, and when joined by another performer, together had the Roundhouse fixated in silence on the two, praying they don’t fall. The second performer joined him whilst he was rising and falling, and then demonstrated his sheer strength when she, using the full weight of her body as she was unsupported in the air, walked on his legs, and sat on his legs, and then made the audience sit on the edge of their seat as she tied the rope around her neck, by which she was subsequently lifted into the air, spinning effortlessly; her whole weight lifted by the just teeth of the first performer who was still sustained upside-down in the air (moment pictured above). The bravery and the skill and talent were too much to believe- the best part being the execution of the skill, done with pure grace and tranquillity.

 

Performers swung on swings so high to a point they were standing upside down, launching themselves to jump and flip in the air across the stage and land feet-first like it was so simple, or they created a human tower of three standing head to toe on top of each other, jumping from the top, or the ending of the performance with a woman swinging across the audience reciting deep inspirational words. The high spirit was clearly prominent throughout, with the singing and dancing occasionally taking to the stage, hyping the audience up, recovering us from the tension when these life threatening skills were performed.

 

Co-produced by the Roundhouse, Circolombia brought an extravagant and a high adrenaline performance, with their strong flawless bodies doing things unimaginable the human body could do. Circolombia will be performing their show at the Roundhouse until 3rd May, and it is highly recommendable to see, whether you are into music, dance, or circus, or just have an appreciation for the different cultures of the world.