Australia’s award-winning contemporary circus company pursues the meaning of true connection in its most physically ambitious work to date.
DanceHouse, Vancouver’s premier dance presenter, and The Cultch present the North American premiere of Gravity & Other Myths (GOM)’s acrobatic and athletically-charged work, The Mirror, on stage January 24-27, 2024, at 8 pm at the Vancouver Playhouse. Directed by GOM Artistic Director Darcy Grant, The Mirror is a compelling and intimate exploration of the search for authentic human connection within our disconnective digital age. The Australian contemporary circus company infuses its high-level dance choreography with innovative production design – incorporating an LED wall, cameras, and selfie sticks – an atmospheric electronica soundscape, and a levity that belies its heart-pumping feats of acrobatic virtuosity.
“Renowned for its genre-defying performance, Gravity & Other Myths’ The Mirror is a study of contrasts. At once both effervescent and arcane, visceral and cheeky, the full-length work strips bare the architecture of performance itself, at times penetrating the fourth wall to expose audiences to the inner workings of their incredible stage presence,” says Jim Smith, Artistic and Executive Director of DanceHouse.
“When we first welcomed the company in 2015 with A Simple Space, our audiences were absolutely blown away by the unpretentious rawness of the work,” adds Heather Redfern, Executive Director at The Cultch. “This new creation pulls back the curtain even farther. Through their disarming honesty – unmasked grunts of effort, shaky limbs, and backstage camera access – GOM artists break down the barrier between audience and performer, inviting us on their quest for authentic human connection in an increasingly superficial world.”
Lauded as “a glorious spectacle that manages to be both intimate and hilarious” (Exberliner), the work is praised for its careful balance of technically complex combinations of lifts, tumbles, and leaps with its kaleidoscopic emotional stage presence, from moments of defeated exhaustion and lighthearted joy to playful kink and heart-bursting connection. Co-commissioned by the Sydney Opera House and the Chamäleon Theatre in Berlin, The Mirror enjoyed its world premiere in Berlin in August 2022.
The company’s remarkable physicality is further enhanced by an interactive contemporary design from Set & Lighting Designer Matt Adey, in exploration of the lengths we go to please others and mask our true selves in our reality of omnipresent screens. Artists are supplied with cameras and selfie sticks, which they use to project their images onto a giant LED screen set behind the performers. Moments of gravity-defying stunts and cabaret-style vignettes, executed by the nine acrobatic performers, are punctuated by an enthralling score of electronic compositions and pop mash-ups by Australian musician Ekrem Eli Phoenix, performed live on stage by singer Megan Drury.
Based in Adelaide, Australia, GOM was formed in 2009 by a group of young artists with a passion for circus and physical theatre. The company’s first work, A Simple Space, has been performed nearly 1,000 times across 34 counties. With an additional seven works created and toured internationally over the last 15 years, GOM has been honoured to contribute to the global embrace of the unique playfulness and physical mastery of the contemporary circus arts genre.
For tickets and further information, visit: dancehouse.ca
Main image: Photo Credit - Andy Phillipson
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