Tuesday 9 August 2022

EIF 2022 - The Pulse at the Playhouse, or, Simply Mesmerising

 At the start of this performance, Gravity & Other Myths and the National Youth Choir of Scotland conducted by Mark Evans lulled this viewer into thinking he had seen it before. The Choir are singing numbers - 1,2,3,2,1 etc. (I suspect a Glass setting) and the movement of the acrobats recalled to mind the work of others - William Forsythe's choreography, Glass's Einstein on the Beach. Then the acrobats subvert it as they climb on one another's shoulders - forming first a set of two person towers, and then moving up to three - the moment when the set of trio towers cross through each other was the first of a stunning series of acrobatic peaks. From then on I was gripped by a show of mesmerising movement and acrobatics which makes full, successful use of the often tricky Playhouse space.

Gravity & Other Myths have three styles - those breath-taking set pieces, the ground level collective movement (both as individuals and in small groups - there are some lovely human mobile moments late on), and individual turns - the guy towards the end who slid along on his back and then bounced upright as though made of rubber particularly sticks in my mind.

The movement is accompanied by very fine singing from the Choir, who move around the stage, at times intermingling with the acrobats - it's the kind of collaboration that I suspect only the International Festival could put together, and one I imagine those singers will remember the rest of their lives. The stamina the Choir show, they're singing pretty much non-stop for about 70 minutes, is particularly note-worthy.

What, for some reason, especially moved me, was the trust and teamwork that makes all this possible - it's a showcase for the amazing things humans can do as a unit. One performance remains tonight - not to be missed.

No comments:

Post a Comment