Impressive and breathtaking acrobatic maneuvers were nothing compared to the emotional rollercoaster the audience experienced during the Hemisphere performance. Families, friends, and lovers, at first seeming relaxed while enjoying some popcorn, were progressively pulled to the edge of their seats as Hemisphere’s artists captivated them with fluid storytelling and jaw dropping tricks.
The acrobats and musicians kept true to their promise to deliver a mesmerizing performance and went above and beyond (literally) to not only wow the audience but also to leave them with some residual reflections about our role in Mother Nature’s play. I have never felt so represented in a show before: the performers expressed so well the human experience of being perpetually dragged through the change of seasons, from birth to death, everything in between, and whatever follows.
The borderline psychedelic show makes frighteningly good use of loud orchestra, backdrops, lightning, materials, optical illusions, and acrobatics: every decision meant to emphasize a viewer’s internal emotional tempest. As I felt my vulnerability resurface, every movement was more heartfelt, their struggle was mine as mine was theirs, and the artists played with those moments – and I can’t stress this enough – beautifully. Their occasionally barely recognizable human forms made me let go of the idea that humans were performing as they spilled into quintessence of emotion. Have you ever wondered what it’s like for your soul to see something? I’m glad I don’t have to wonder anymore. Ah, a weight off my shoulders, feels good!
Beyond physical prowess, meta-theatricality was masterfully used to expand our emotional experience as the acrobats occasionally became members of the audience to soak in the music of the 8-musician ensemble: I nearly cried. Also, you know that feeling of excitement you get when you understand a reference someone makes? Well, it was a treat to recognize traces of Vivaldi, Monet, and Da Vinci, which elevated the show to new heights for me.
Keep in mind that emotional experiences vary as greatly inside the theatre as they do on life’s stage.
Make the Hemisphere experience your own this Saturday, July 15th, and Sunday, July 16th at TOHU, which will include a discussion with the cast after their performance. Book tickets HERE. Hemisphere is part of Montreal Completement Cirque which continues until July 16. Info HERE.