On Nov. 5-7, N.C. State LIVE is presenting four fabulous performances of A Simple Space by a troupe of Australian acrobats called Gravity & Other Myths in Stewart Theatre in NCSU’s newly renovated Talley Student Union. Although the space itself is, indeed, kept simple, the performance is anything but!
Gravity & Other Myths begins with a segment that could be called “Falling” — developed from the team-building exercise called “Trust.” We’ve all caught one person who was “falling,” but imagine catching three, four, or even five in succession, and from every angle! And that’s just the beginning.
The show includes tumbling and contortions, synchronized handstands, body architecture, and high-flying lifts. There are no nets; the opening night crowd erupted into “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s” and spontaneous applause.
The performers use each other’s bodies as platforms, ladders, springboards, and fulcrums. Their simple attire allows the audience to focus on the expert physicality of their movements rather than glitzy costumes or props. It’s Cirque du Soleil “laid bare.” And speaking of bare: ladies, this show includes something special for you. When the jump ropes hit the stage, put on your glasses, and get ready with the dollar bills.
Other highlights include high-speed elimination back flips, jumping “rope” with human ropes, and walking and jumping on each others’ hands, feet, knees, shoulders, heads, and faces. It’s truly staggering. Each segment begins with amazing movement and gets progressively more so.
The troupe consists of six men and two women. One of the men provides music and percussion from offstage — most of the time. (Unless he is onstage, thumping out some body beats, solo.) This, by the way, is one of the instances of audience participation. Others include audience “volunteers” joining the troupe to become “stones” in a “river” of movement.
Other quirky moments are reminiscent of Blue Man Group. Watch for multiple instances of headstands and handstands and an amazing solution to the Rubic’s Cube.
A Simple Space runs an hour without intermission. It is an hour of entertainment not-to-be-missed.
SECOND OPINION: Nov. 4th Durham, NC Indy Week mini-preview by Byron Woods: http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/gravity-and-other-myths-a-simple-space/Event?oid=4865366. (Note: To read Triangle Arts and Entertainment’s online version of the Nov. 3rd Triangle Review preview by Robert W. McDowell, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/2015/11/australian-acrobatic-ensemble-gravity-other-myths-lives-up-to-its-name-in-a-simple-space/.)
N.C. State LIVE presents Gravity & Other Myths in A SIMPLE SPACE at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 and 3 and 8 p.m. Nov. 7 in Stewart Theatre on the second floor of the Talley Student Center, 2610 Cates Ave., Raleigh, NC 27695, on the N.C. State University campus.
TICKETS: $28 Level B and $32 Level A ($27.20 NCSU students and other students, seniors 60+, and NCSU faculty and staff).
BOX OFFICE: 919-515-1100 or http://purchase.tickets.com/.
SHOW: http://go.ncsu.edu/gravity and http://ncsu.edu/centerstage/currentseason/simplespace.html.
VIDEO PREVIEW: https://vimeo.com/116237210.
N.C. STATE LIVE’S 2015-16 SEASON: https://www.ncsu.edu/centerstage/currentseason/index.html.
PRESENTER: http://www.ncsu.edu/centerstage/index.html, https://www.facebook.com/NCStateLIVE, and https://twitter.com/NCStateLIVE.
A Simple Space (2013 circus piece): http://gravityandothermyths.com.au/a-simple-space/ (official web page).
Gravity & Other Myths (Adelaide, South Australia acrobatics ensemble): http://gravityandothermyths.com.au/ (official website), https://www.facebook.com/GOMcircus/ (Facebook page), https://soundcloud.com/sirinss/sets/a-simple-space-soundtrack (Soundcloud), https://twitter.com/GOM_Circus (Twitter page), and https://www.youtube.com/user/handstandan/videos (YouTube).
Pamela Vesper has been a Raleigh resident for more than 20 years. A local attorney for licensed professionals, when she’s not in court, Pam can be found watching or participating in local theater productions or enjoying the vibrant Raleigh music and craft beer scene. She also loves indie and foreign films and was an anchor on the local cable show, Movie Minutes. Pam has an opinion on just about everything; just ask her. Kurt Benrud is a graduate of Cary High School and N.C. State University, and he has taught English at both. He first became involved in local theater in 1980. He has served on the board of directors for both the Cary Players and the Cary Playwrights’ Forum. He is also a volunteer reader with Triangle Radio Reading Service. Click here to read their reviews for Triangle Review and Triangle Arts and Entertainment.