REVIEW: Brighton Festival: Smoke and Mirrors

May 12, 2016

Cirko 2

Smoke and Mirrors

The Ricochet Project 

Tue 10 May, 8pm

The Ricochet Project is pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus using poetic acrobatics, contemporary dance, contortion and high-flying feats to explore the human condition. This carefully explored, almost forensic two handed (four?) feat of endurance, acrobatic skills, mesmerising body movements and dance is a very clean looking performance, lights, sound and set all stripped back to an essence, this allows full concentration on the performers and allows much more space for the narrative to develop and boy do these performers concentrate.


The packed house were hugely appreciative of the performers and the spellbound rapture and concentration is testament to the dexterity and pure controlled skill of this pair. Dancers Codhi Harrell and Laura Stokes are astonishing as they writhe, curl, stretch and fall in and out of the space around them, bringing gasps and murmurs from the audience astonished by the abilities of these dancers to contort their bodies in such expressive blunt ways.  There were small moments of wry humour knitted into the ongoing struggle for something which, for me, always stayed nebulous and coldly out of touch, so I relaxed and just enjoyed the spectacle passing in front of me.

The stark brutal lighting gave nowhere to hide, and there were some moments where I felt fully engaged by the whole performance, but then they slipped away again. The music was excellent, bouncing around through various exotic and Arabic electronica, sound bites looped and refolded were given an ethereal edge to some of the aerialist sections, but ultimately this was cold serious purity that was less than the sum of its parts.  For a piece centred on ‘revealing the inner workings of the mind and our search to find a place of realness and connection’ it felt oddly without meaning and with no heart.  I left feeling impressed by the technical skill and energy of the performers but left saddened and slightly hollowed out by the piece.


See full details of the performance here