Collectif AOC, Barbican Theatre, London ***
By Nadine Meisner for The Independent
28 April 2003
The performers of the Collectif AOC are much better than their irritating in-joke name. (AOC stands either for Artistes d'Origine Circassienne – "artists of circus origin" – or for the gastronomic authentication label Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée.) They drop through the air with the slippery twists and jacknifes of Olympic high divers. They stroll up a wall like flies. They juggle. They climb on to each other to form human towers. They erupt into bouts of tumbling, somersaulting break dance. Graduates of France's Centre National des Arts du Cirque, they pooled their diverse skills into a company three years ago and called their first piece La Syncope du 7.
La Syncope du 7 – which translates as "the fainting fit of the seven" – comes to London as a show for adults and children.
The opening is mayhem. The large scaffolding structure standing centre stage is a makeshift transparent house filled with clambering bodies. At the front a man swings on a trapeze, his feathery sleeves reminiscent of an angel, his back and forth flight like the distracting, annoying dance of a gnat. What does it mean? click for more[/b]
********************************* Collectif AOC, Barbican, London
by Jenny Gilbert for The Independent
The term "new circus" was always pretty vague, but it's even more so now it's been around for 20 years. Everyone remembers the old circus, if only as a kind of Hovis folk memory that embraces elephants and sawdust along with milk in glass bottles and Green Shield stamps. New Circus, on the other hand, has always had a foreign accent.
Cirque du Soleil, now in its third decade, is French-Canadian. Archaos, that more dangerous ground-breaker of the 1980s with its chainsaws and motorbikes, is French. And despite an explosion of copycat ventures and the advent of the UK's first honours degree in circus, it is still the French-speaking nations that lead the field. click for more[/b]
<small>[ 30 April 2003, 08:14 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>