English Baroqueis the third in a series of collaborations between the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra and the Circa Contemporary Circus. In the first two shows the respective artistic directors, Paul Dyer and Yaron Lifschitz, have bounced around ideas and showmanship, artforms and artists, to come up with dazzling pieces of theatre. English Baroqueis no exception.
Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s English Baroque with Circa. Photo © Steven Godbee
The visual inspiration for this show is the formal garden of a 17th-century stately home: a green lawn edged with white plinths, just begging to be adorned with classical statues. (I’m sure I’m not the only one remembering The Draughtsman’s Contract). The musical inspiration starts in the theatre, with the stage music of Purcell, and ends at the country fair, with a series of traditional songs and dances given the Brandenburg twist. In the end, however, both visual and musical delights are upstaged by the extraordinary acrobatics of the seven Circa artists who play the statues which come to life, redesigning the space with their own, fantastical sculptures created through feats of strength, balance and flexibility.
Drifting through this magical landscape...