The body divine

Spinning circles: Valerie Laplante Bilodeau on the Cyr wheel. Photo: Murali Kumar. K  

Our lethargy and physical inactiveness can be put to shame by these nine acts with their origins in traditional circuses. Physical agility rules and intrigues at The Extra Terrestrial Show

It’s amazing what people can do with their bodies. If you look at Rebecca Peache curve forward gracefully at an unbelievable angle of almost 30 degrees from the ground, while her husband Donavan Jones supports her legs while bending his own body like a bow, you’d like to believe they’re suspended by some invisible rope. But no rope tricks here, no special effects.

It’s plain practise, the suppleness, and power of the human body on display. Called Crazee Horse, the once-dancers, now aerobats doing amazing body contortions up in the air suspended from sashes or on the ground, are one of the most amazing acts for anyone who says “ouch” if they bend to pick up a dropped pen.

The couple is part of the ongoing The Extra Terrestrials show in the city. Almost every one of the nine acts that make up this modern day entertainment show, pushes the limits of the human body, mind, and imagination. There’s old circus-like acts, modern tech-savvy laser gigs, good ol’ illusion and magic, and lessons in patience and concentration.

Valerie Laplante Bilodeau from Canada works on the Cyr wheel in a way that makes you believe the huge metallic wheel listens to her unsaid commands. She cartwheels holding on to the spinning wheel, weaves in and out of it as it moves. As metal and woman become one, she sets your senses spinning. And all this is done with amazing dancer-like grace. That’s one thing to be said about all these modern-day circus acts – they are all about “show” – set to energetic pieces of music, with dramatic lighting, and choreographed as a dance.

Even the juggler’s act by Pavel Yeusiukevich from Russia was a coming together of all these elements. He makes it look like anyone can juggle six rings while bouncing a ball off his forehead. Or juggle six white shiny balls high up in the air and make it look like poetry. That’s the kind of ease he demonstrates as he seems to decide just how high the rings go up, when they must come back down into his hands… Try putting a ring around your neck while bouncing a ball off your forehead. Repeat about six times within seven seconds. Yeah, that’s what the young lad does!

White Gothic is a hand-balancing team of four muscular, tattooed, Ukranians who can form a pyramid as they balance on each other’s palms, shoulders, thighs and necks. Through their act, they hold their bodies still at unbelievable angles and perform ouch-inducing splits. A real demonstration of muscular strength, balance, and human endurance.

Unicyclist Erik Ivarsson will have you from the start with his childlike smile and command over the one-wheeled cycle, skipping with it, jumping from one short uni to another taller one, balancing a cycle on his head while he rides another, juggling with rings as he does it all. The high energy level on stage catches on and everyone sits on the edge of the seat waiting for him to clear the high-jump on his unicycle. It’s about a throbbing physicality, his whole act.

Amidst all this high energy comes an oasis of peace. If you haven’t already seen Miyoko Shida performing it (the video is all over the Internet and on mailing loops), this is your opportunity to check out Sanddorn stick balance. The performer is a picture of concentration as he tries to assemble about 12 palm leaf sticks almost like a rib cage, counter-balanced by a feather! Every member of the audience is a willing participant, hoping nothing falls, riveted to the slow-mo story unfolding on stage.

Omar Pasha’s black theatre illusion act brings back the old-world magic, but in more neon settings. All dressed up in a turban and cape, he does the Great Indian Rope Trick (he claims they’re the last to be able to do it), levitates tables, pulls out scarves from nowhere, cuts off people’s heads, swaps man and woman, makes people vanish. Frenchman Louis-Olivier Ostrowsky (Pasha’s real name) later tells me backstage that he’s the fourth generation doing this, and it’s a 120-year magic tradition! “I want to take people into a dream world, where something impossible becomes real.”

Thomas Barentin’s laser show is the closing act. Dressed in a red-LED bulb lit Transformer-like bodysuit, he slashes, throws, cuts and wields laser beams and traps himself in a laser pyramid to create a futuristic sci-fi effect.

Presented by Tango Brands and ShowSpace, the 90-minute show is on till June 30 at 5 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9 p.m., everyday at The Courtyard, Phoenix Market City mall, Mahadevapura, Whitefield Road. Tickets available on the spot. Or book online at >, > or >

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 2:09:47 PM |

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