Some of the routines and feats that Gravity & Other Myths, an Australian physical theater company, create, can be described as such: creating an upside down human ice cream cone by stacking people three high on each other’s shoulders, tossing humans like they’re fish in a Hell’s Kitchen fish market, or balancing a person by their spine on a 10 foot pole so they look as if they’re impaled by a spear on the battlefield by the armies of Gaul. So, yeah, physical theater, the combination of acrobatics, tests of strength, and circus, can be fairly physically demanding.
“There was also that time that Rankin cut off that other guy’s head with the sword,” says Darcy Grant, director of the company’s newest work, Backbone.
Despite the truth of a plate mail clad, sword wielding character appearing in Gravity & Other Myths’ show, the decapitation part might be a bit of hyperbole. However, suspending someone by their head like a keystone in the top of a two person high human archway is no exaggeration.
“We were lucky to have someone brave enough to try on either side of her skull,” Grant says. “Luckily her brain didn’t get squashed and she can still say her alphabet.”
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