Saturday, 4 July 2015

Chapter 85: Snapshots from GDIF: Dynamite & Poetry

        La pendule fait tic-tac-tic-tic
- Charles Trenet

Time was ticking. The moment Collectif Malunés were done (see previous post), I was warned in a text from Celine to leg it round the corner to 15ft6's "Dynamite & Poetry" as space would fill up quickly. So I arrived barefoot, heart pounding, plonked myself down and ... Boum! Really, you do have to be careful where you sit when watching explosive circus, you know. Little did the guy next to me, for instance, realise the danger he was in when he sat down to watch his mates, in peace and quiet, only to find himself squashed up next to the one circus geek who would recognise him from a Widow Stanton* interview. I call it serendipity.    

Tain Molendijk on Russian bar
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Fowl play...
Before long, Belgium-based collective 15ft6 blasted into action, and for the next forty five minutes or so I was vibrating with excitement, shaking with laughter and jumping out of my skin. High octane music fuelled the energy of all manner of acrobatics, stunning synchronisations on the Chinese pole, a jaw dropping dive from the top into the barrel of a Korean see-saw and flipping brilliant star turns on the Russian bar that left my knuckles white. There was a wonderful rapport and dynamic comedy banter with the crowd throughout from all the performers, while Thomas Dechaufour played the butt of all the pranks, literally at one point when caught with his pants down. He also delivered up an ode to dynamite in French. You didn't need to understand a word to sense that the romance of the rhymes clashed with the menace of the content ("tout est calme, rien ne bouge, et dans le tronceau de l'arbre, un petit bateau rouge…boum!"), and then it morphed into Charles Trenet's classic Boum! Surreal, and relentlessly funny, these are the ones to watch:

Thomas Dechaufour (French)
Jasper D'Hondt (Belgian)
Richard Fox (British)
Tain Molendijk (Australian)

*The Widow Stanton interviews performers from the world of showbiz and circus. Check out the interview with Tain Molendijk at 

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