Gravity and Other Myths and some Myths about Circus debunked

Andre Augustus, Annalise Moore, Lachlan Harper and Axel Osborne from Gravity and Other Myths joined the Festspielhaus Reporters for a virtual chat to talk about their work and life as acrobats for the australian company. So, if you already had a ticket and were looking forward to seeing them in action or you still aren’t really sure of what they do, keep reading to learn what they do on a daily basis.

Andre Augustus, Annalise Moore, Lachlan Harper and Axel Osborne from Gravity and Other Myths joined the Festspielhaus Reporters for a virtual chat to talk about their work and life as acrobats for the australian company. So, if you already had a ticket and were looking forward to seeing them in action or you still aren’t really sure of what they do, keep reading to learn what they do on a daily basis.

 

Ever heard about GOM

If you have, you know that’s short for Gravity and Other Myths, an acrobatics and physical theatre company based in Australia. You then probably know that their show, Backbone, was meant to go on stage in St. Pölten last weekend. Unfortunately, for reasons we all know far too well, that didn’t happen. Nevertheless, the acrobats were able to spend a week at the Festspielhaus rehearsing for the next stops of their European tour and last Sunday morning they offered a masterclass for young professional dancers. After that, on a rather spontaneous invitation, four members of the ensemble joined us for a virtual chat about their work. So, if you already had a ticket and were looking forward to seeing them in action or you still aren’t really sure of what they do, keep reading to learn what Andre Augustus, Annalise Moore, Lachlan Harper, and Axel Osborne have told us. 

Who are they?

They stand on each other’s shoulders, feel perfectly at ease in a handstand and quite literally fly from one part of the stage to the other. They call themselves acrobats, but for most of us, let’s be honest, they could well be aliens. Although I still wonder if they are not from another planet, after hearing them talk I must say that their incredible physical skills could also result from - a lot of- hard work, passion, and daily dedication. Out of the 31 acrobats of the company, the majority is coming from the world of sports or gymnastics. Some even used to be in competitions for a long time before discovering circus. And, let’s immediately clear any misunderstanding, even if “when people hear the word circus the first thing coming to their mind is the red and white tent with clowns and lions”, that is not what we are talking about here.

What do they do?

Contemporary circus, to be more precise, is a young genre of performing arts that you can study at university and get a BA in (which by the way many but not all of GOM members did). As they explained to us, the “old” circus was mainly about spectacle and it thrilled the audience mostly because of its elevated risks, nurturing feelings of surprise and shock. What the “new” circus aims at instead, is to allow a story to emerge from and through the acrobatics, requiring the interpreters to be athletes and artists at the same time. This still has the power to leave viewers breathless but at the same time can let them experience a wider palette of feelings. In this process, narrative, music, stage and light design are all essential components and the physical skills become  “a catalyst to make your idea happen”.

How do they develop their ideas?

In the vision of GOM, every piece originates indeed from an idea, that is to say from the necessity, desire or curiosity to explore a  certain theme. The starting point of Backbone, for example, was a reflection on the topic of strength and its various forms, like physical, emotional, individual or collective. As the title already suggests, I want to touch you was a reaction to the physical, and perhaps also emotional, distance imposed by the outbreak of the pandemic. On those lines, with Something Somewhere the acrobats explored the consequences of bringing acrobatics into public spaces like cafés, streets and parks. Bottom line, with its shows Gravity and Other Myths defies all laws of physics and at the same time creates a weightless, ever-changing, parallel universe, in which, we really hope, we’ll soon be able to dive again.

Chiara Aprea

Veröffentlicht von Chiara Aprea

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