Edinburgh Fringe 2012
This "troupe from St Petersburg create an exceptionally beautiful and upbeat show using only their hands."
Time for Fun
The advertising leaflets promised a high tech family light show extravaganza but I was delighted to experience a more earthy show full of a high energy smiling ensemble creating extraordinary images and beautiful theatrical atmospheres, using their arms and hands in forms and movements and shapes that flowed seamlessly, morphing one image into another.
My 8 year old was so taken aback that he kept chattering out loudly to me describing what image was suddenly emerging in front of our eyes. We both gasped at times at the clever and effective simplicity of their creative forms.
Music was used well to maintain a range of moods and energies throughout the show, raising the excitement at times, softening the mood at other times. My one feedback with this was that I loved the more Russian music, connecting the group with their roots and it would have been brilliant if there had been a way to incorporate live music or vocal harmony such as that used in Translunar Paradise.
The group of performers were joyful to watch, they looked as if they were genuinely enjoying themselves and often had infectious grins on their faces although when the piece demanded it their mutual gestures were authentically and perfectly in tune with the mood of each scene:they worked with absolute care and attention.
I really loved the way the performers worked so well together without seeming robotic. The unity of the performance had depth as the performers were different shapes and sizes and although well trained and talented it didn’t need them to be overly precise which gave the piece a joyful feeling of openness, which sometimes isn’t there when physical theatre requires absolute precision. In other words, they didn’t have to be perfect in order to create perfectly beautiful images.
At times my son and I weren’t always sure what we were seeing or what they were trying to achieve but it didn’t matter as it was so unique, breathtaking at times. Looking at this, the music and the way in which the scenes might connect to each other in a more cohesive continuum by perhaps utilizing a narrative thread would surely lift this to a five star performance. It was a delight to see how the human body can be used as a collaborative unit so simply but also effectively to create voiceless theatre that speaks volumes, can carry a story as in one scene, and create wonder in adults and children alike.
It was lovely to sit back and enjoy this show without having to think to much, it felt like a celebration of living and movement and music and I felt refreshed and energised afterwards, my son and I walked down the street with big grins on our faces.