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Knee Deep
Published on Wednesday, 22 August 2012
4

4 stars

Assembly George Square (venue website)
Dance and Physical Theatre
2-12, 14-19, 21-27 Aug, 7:35pm-8:35pm
Reviewed by Alice de Cent

 Recommended for age 12+ only.

Casus are Australia’s hot new circus sensation – and in Knee Deep they showcase their prowess in tumbling, trapeze, and occasionally origami, in a whirlwind hour-long performance.

Kicking off with a balancing act that gives new meaning to the phrase ‘walking on eggshells’, Jesse Scott, Nantano Fa'anana, Emma Sergeant and Lachlan McAulay also display their impressive skills in some breathtaking examples of gravity-defying aerial work, and intricate, delicate acts that draw more than a few audible gasps from the audience.

The atmospheric Speigletent is a fine setting for the show, bringing the audience right up close to the action so the concentration of the performers’ faces is more than evident. Being in the round also offers the extra pleasure of seeing other people’s looks of amazement. If you’re not at the front you might miss out on the floor work, but thankfully most of the show takes place higher up.

If the show has one flaw, it’s that it takes itself a little seriously. The feats of strength and agility evidently require poise and concentration, but there is something inherently funny about four people in their underwear, balancing on cartons of eggs. I wish that had been acknowledged, just for a moment, so I could go back to being amazed without feeling like a naughty child with a fit of the giggles. 

Knee Deep features some stunning and near-unbelievable moments as the performers create beautiful visuals against the backdrop of swelling strings. The show’s charm lies in its close up, no frills style, and its most successful moments are the ones without extraneous props, simply featuring the highly skilled performers and their impressive physicality. 

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