Statum is a smashing show, a dynamic collaboration between Flipside Circus and Nathan Sibthorpe (Counterpilot). Setting the standard for high-quality productions from youth ensembles, Flipside have created a fun hour of high-energy stunts, fusing technology and circus tricks in a range of visually interesting scenes.
The use of interactive projections and clever light-bending tech infuses a sense of drama into otherwise simple scenes. An unseen narrator talks us through the tricks and scenes as they unfurl, creating a feeling that we are voyeurs into a futuristic laboratory. It allows the young performers to showcase their talents, humour and personality alongside their impressive acrobatic skills.
Not just a show for kids to watch, this show is interesting in and of itself. Much like community circus, youth arts is often handed ‘well done for trying’ tokenistic platitudes, or programmed in the children’s entertainment, as if kids can only make art for other youth.
Flipside is dispelling that entirely, with a clever show that keeps our attention firmly focused on the stage. With fancy strap on monitors, they use the biometric readings of the performers to firmly situate its audience in the present moment. The use of heart rate monitors and g-force readers show us that the skills of the young cast are creating strong forces within and without their bodies – a nice reminder of the complexity of the skills presented, which we often forget when we see high level tricks performed with ease.
The show doesn’t pretend to be more that it is – the fusion of tech and troupe is fast and fun, and the touch of reverence for this crazy complex modern world gives it a satisfying heft.
Nadia Jade saw Statum at the Brisbane Powerhouse on 18 October 2019.