This week, N.C. State LIVE (formerly NCSU Center Stage) will present four “Up close and thrilling!” performances of A Simple Space — performed with panache aplenty by the award-winning Adelaide, Australia-based acrobatics ensemble Gravity & Other Myths, on Nov. 5-7 in Stewart Theatre on the second floor of NCSU’s Talley Student Union. Talk Fringe of Edinburgh, Scotland salutes the show as “Mind-blowing physical theatre”; Vancouver Presents claims, “A Simple Space will have you on the edge of your seat”; and Three Weeks adds, “Be prepared to have your breath taken away”
In his review the show’s current tour, Colin Thomas of The Georgia Straight of Vancouver, BC wrote, “A Simple Space turns stage into an exhilarating acrobatic playground…. In stripped-down staging that’s the polar opposite of a Cirque du Soleil extravaganza, the seven acrobats and single musician in the touring company occupy a bare, black space in the middle of the … stage. There are light stands on the four corners of the playing area and the simply clad tumblers flick the switches themselves.”
According to N.C. State LIVE:
“… A Simple Space … is a dizzying collection of pieces that will be performed on the thrust of Stewart Theatre (the part of the stage that extends into the seating area). It’s supported by live percussion and presented … intimately ….”
In its press kit for the show, Gravity & Other Myths, writes, “Simultaneously raw, frantic and delicate, seven skilled acrobats push their physical limits without reserve. Supported by driving percussion, immersed in every moment, A Simple Space evokes real responses in audiences, visceral rather than cerebral. There’s no fine-tuning of performances with make-up, lighting and contrived theatrical overlay. Sitting close to a stripped back stage, the audience feel the heat, see the sweat and hear every breath. Armed with nothing more than brute strength and cat-like agility these acrobats break down their usual guards, introducing the reality of possible failure and weakness. With nothing left to hide behind, personal narratives shine through. This honesty is the essence of A Simple Space.”
The company adds, “Gravity & Other Myths is a multi-award-winning and well-respected Australian acrobatics ensemble. The company creates engaging works of acrobatic art for touring, festivals and corporate clients. Formed in 2009 in Adelaide, South Australia, the ensemble creates and directs their own work with emphasis on an honest approach to performance. Moving away from traditional circus and theatre models the company aims for a fusion of simple effective acrobatic physical theatre. Gravity & Other Myths have [earned] a sterling international reputation with their work, A Simple Space, touring internationally consistently since its inception in 2013. In 2015 the work tours to the United Kingdom, Sweden, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand, and throughout the USA.”
In her February 2014 review of the show for Adelaide’s InDaily, Anna Solding wrote, “A Simple Space is … all about: courage, humour and skill, all rolled into one brilliant hour of acrobatic pleasure. Local gymnastic group Gravity & Other Myths performs some hair-raising tricks, throwing each other around as if gravity really were a myth. But most importantly, they have fun doing it. By opening A Simple Space with a session of skipping-rope stripping, the performers set the tone for the evening. It’s a playful and innovative space that they inhabit. The simple but effective lighting is controlled by the artists themselves, in constant flux. At one point they hand out colourful plastic balls to the audience and invite us to throw these back on stage, where a hand-stand competition is underway….”
In review a previous production of this show, the Heckler raved, ” This is circus stripped bare. A Simple Space … turns the showy bells and whistles circus genre completely on its head. Short and sharp, with plain costumes, no set decorations, speeches or explanations, and hardly any props or even sound (aside from the panting of the performers), A Simple Space really does live up to its name. The stunts performed are breathtaking …. Truly wonderful stuff.”
Miriam Keane of Kryztoff Raw gave A Simple Space five stars and raved, ” It’s awe-inspiringly impressive to watch people who are so in control of their body. While other shows may rely on costumes, sets and tricks to create an atmosphere, the simplicity of the stage space on which this troupe works allows the talent of the performers to shine. I don’t know how many expletives escaped my mouth during the show but it would have easily been in double figures and might have gone higher had I not been rendered literally speechless the rest of the time.”
N.C. State LIVE presents Gravity & Other Myths in A SIMPLE SPACE at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 and 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).
Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail email@example.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)