Last night at Jacksons Lane was a high-octane blast of circus. Like the previous evening there were a number of acts, but gone was the domestic space of Mama's Kitchen, this was rebellious younger brother Bring the Noise!
Ambient music framed the techno graphics projected onto the back curtain, and the club scene even had its own go-go dancer with a hula hooper in the nets above. Antonio, from the night before, was wandering around, fan in hand, in a completely different character. Now a flamboyant clubber, seeing him in action later on the Chinese pole was one of the highlights of my evening. Antonio knows how to work the anticipation, you see, holding a substantial pause before each dramatic drop, and watching that is like being on a roller-coaster, moments before the plunge. I experienced a similar legal high watching the parkour boys, Dan and Mike, making use of every available space, springing up onto balconies, tumbling from the top of the stairs onto stage, and surprising a few circus boys from the audience by dragging them into the centre to then sommersault over them. They reminded me of the Circolombia boys, doing crazy stuff with street savvy.
I was glad to see the newly formed Alula Cyr girls, Fiona, Lil and Jess, finally in action, having seen them individually in other incarnations. Lil was singing too, and her unaccompanied blues number gave me goosebumps. With all these girls I warm to their confidence and spark while they execute manoeuvres like the splits spanning the wheel, balancing on top, and spinning inside, until limbs blur in a way that recalls (and regenders) Leonardo's Vitruvian Man.
I'm sure Leonardo would have enjoyed sketching the movements of Felipe Reyes' torso, and the lines drawn by his legs, as his hand-balancing made full use of the range of movement possible, alternating and rotating, on the four canes at his disposal. And speaking of mesmerising circles, Sylvia with her LED hoops was a psychedelic spectacular, inducing a club-like trance in the audience. The sensational light show she generated, through a meticulous programming of the the hoops' lights to co-ordinate with the music and movement, made this magpie here very, very happy.
There was also a beautiful solo dance turn from an ethereal Natalie James, a challenging interpretation of a heavy metal track from Lina Jungergard, and Angeliki Nikolakaki powering home the finale on straps, in a shower of rain. As she spun there, face up to the sky, it reminded me of those days when I could go out clubbing all night, without a care in the world, and get lost in the music. It's primal, it's joyful, it's elemental. Jacksons Lane, came the whisper, where else can you see a show like that for a tenner?!
Performers - in order of appearance:
Alula Cyr Wheel (Lil Rice, Jessica Ladley and Fiona Thornhill)
Natalie Nicole James (dance solo)
Lina Jungergard (aerial rope)
Dan Edwards and Mike Morgan (parkour and free-running)
Felipe Reyese (handbalancing)
Silvia Pavone (LED hula hoops)
Angeliki Nikolakaki (aerial straps)