Three men jump on big bouncing balls that catapult across the stage engaging us in their world. Like a ball bearing flying across a pinball machine our eyes dart over the stage. The relaxed gesture of the men that are not involved in the dare devil stunt taking place centre stage draw as much attention by their inner calm that juxtapose a stillness to the crazy caper taking over the space.
The local theatres are full of dance this weekend. As the city celebrates movement I am curious to investigate what it is about contemporary dance that is pure fun. The lighting design is backlit in spots of aqua to suggest a world underneath the water as an inflatable shark enters the scene, flashing lights are all encompassing then a candy pink light takes us to the world of the circus where these incredible acrobats draw their skills. The death defying stunts captured in photographs of the dancers pale into insignificance when you see the show live.
A man stands on top of a plank of wood the height of a house, never once looking for showy applause but continuing his journey for stillness and calm whilst the crowd is tearing down the roof with applause. The fun reverberating around the room leaves me wanting more from this dance programme, but the dim house lights signal the end of this show.
The three men in their everyday casual clothes gain an impromptu standing ovation at the end of their 75-minute performance. There are no words spoken during the show just pure physical theatre that stands on the edge, just like the man walking inside a tower of motor car tires. The evening begins with dramatic cruelty as the men throw each other around the stage and roll their bodies inside tires the size to fit a tractor wheel. We effortlessly enter into their world and become locked inside the dynamic flow of these sensational theatrical athletes.
The stage is dominated with a trampoline that is used almost as a white canvas with light shone through it to create shadows where bodies bounce. The men move so fast they hit the same spot occupied by the previous athlete a split second ago, somersaulting up and down the trampoline. The audience are ready to leave the show starry eyed and full of wonder at this spectacle; enriched with the joy of the performance. The performers ascend so high and effortlessly, they raise our horizons. This lifting of their heavy weight of being lets fun prosper. Whilst lungs and bodies have been held tight through dramatic suspense we now breathe in time, not wanting to find the exit.
Enjoy more meditations on what makes perfect fun here
For a relaxed read enjoy an audio book featuring the top 5 gardens of Britain here