Lim­i­nal Flight

“A nice lit­tle sam­pler pack” of cir­cus arts aims for the sky.

The Coast - - HALIFAX FRINGE - BY MICHAEL LAKE

Fri Sep 7-Sun Sep 9, 7:30 & 8:30pm St. Matthew’s Church 1479 Bar­ring­ton Street, $10/$7

Af­ter the show, the per­form­ers from

Lim­i­nal Flight are buzzing with en­ergy. Maybe from the en­ergy of the crowd, from hav­ing done in­cred­i­ble things with their bod­ies, or from a sense of ac­com­plish­ment that comes with mount­ing a new per­for­mance.

“We wanted to chal­lenge our­selves with this show,” says co-cre­ator Made­laine Hig­gins. “And it felt re­ally good.”

Lim­i­nal Flight is a new com­pany made up of cir­cus artists Hig­gins, Cait An­thony and Alex Smith, along with a cast of ro­tat­ing guest per­form­ers. All cir­cus pro­fes­sion­als work­ing in Hal­i­fax, the group came to­gether to cre­ate a new per­for­mance that com­bines aerial arts, ob­ject ma­nip­u­la­tion, fire and dance. The re­sults are an im­pres­sive com­bi­na­tion of gen­res.

“It’s not just an aerial show,” says Hig­gins. “It’s not just an ac­ro­bat­ics show, and it’s not just a flow arts or fire show. It’s a lit­tle bit of ev­ery­thing. Some­body who is new to cir­cus will get a nice lit­tle sam­pler pack of all of the dif­fer­ent lit­tle fam­i­lies that cir­cus en­cap­su­lates.”

Work on Lim­i­nal Flight be­gan in Fe­bru­ary when Kara Friesen, a dancer and chore­og­ra­pher, was brought on board to push the artists out of their com­fort zone into cre­at­ing a fully re­al­ized, nar­ra­tive, tour-ready show.

“It was such good prac­tice be­cause most of us work a lot on an im­pro­vi­sa­tional ba­sis,” says Hig­gins.

The group de­vised a story to bring its var­i­ous cir­cus skills to­gether, and the out­come is an Alice in Won­der­land- es­que nar­ra­tive that toes the line be­tween re­al­ity and imag­i­na­tion. A pro­tag­o­nist (al­ter­nat­ing nightly be­tween Tay­lor Zupiter, Bren­dan Tip­ney and Amanda Hobbs) bored with life’s rou­tines longs for some­thing new, some­thing magic. En­ter Hig­gins, An­thony and Smith who de­liver just that. It be­comes a show about see­ing new­ness in the ev­ery­day—and also a dis­play of the tremen­dous skill of very strong peo­ple.

“We wanted to avoid a ro­mance, or a fight against a bad guy,” says Smith. “So cre­at­ing a story with a con­flict and no vil­lain was a chal­lenge.”

When one thinks of Hal­i­fax ex­ports, cir­cus arts may not be at the top of the list, and those work­ing in the scene would also agree that is a young in­dus­try, rel­a­tively speak­ing, and new works by troupes like Lim­i­nal Flight are an im­por­tant part of grow­ing that in­dus­try. Where the work­ing norm might be to hire a line-up of artists and have them per­form in­di­vid­u­ally in a cabaret style, a less im­pro­vised nar­ra­tive-based show al­lows op­por­tu­nity for tour­ing and show­cas­ing lo­cal tal­ent out­side of the re­gion.

The artists are quick to ac­knowl­edge—maybe even boast a lit­tle—that all of the pro­duc­tion el­e­ments for Lim­i­nal Flight came from the east coast. The mu­sic was com­posed by lo­cal mu­si­cians (Justin Pants, Shane Martin and Space­food AKA Aaron Kling­beil), the cos­tumes made by a lo­cal designer (Laura May of Disas­ter­piece Ap­parel) and all of the per­form­ers and col­lab­o­ra­tors call Hal­i­fax home. A sense of lo­cal pride shines through as the artists talk about their cre­ation.

“But if you’re com­ing for the oohs and ahs and ta-daas,” Smith makes sure to add, “we can’t help our­selves but sneak a cou­ple of those in there.”

LENNY MULLINS

Made in Hal­i­fax: From mu­sic to cos­tumes to the tal­ented (and very strong) per­form­ers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.