Enveloped within the gloriously gothic surrounds of St George’s Cathedral, with live violin accompaniment, Syncope is a delicious sensory feast from the outset. While gorgeously constructed to be highbrow art, it remains completely accessible, humble and lacking any kind of snobbery.
The work derives its title from the word for a sudden loss of consciousness and fainting, usually related to a drop in blood pressure or heart issues. Perth production company Kinetica Circus have constructed their show around this theme, and its coherence throughout is as spectacular as the attention to detail.
Smooth and seamless, there is not a move out of place as the physical performances somehow appear gracefully effortless. Surely holding up another human – or several, at some points – should strain the normal human body? Not these ones. There is wonder at every corner, as physical limits are tested and proven worthy by these phenomenal folks.
While the mood is one of sombre reflection, the beauty contained within enlivens the soul. If you look hard enough, you will find stories of love, loss, and the fragility of the human condition. This is physical art, nothing less, and should be appreciated as the audience would appraise visual art in a gallery. Take from it what you will, but give them your undivided attention throughout. They deserve and earn it.
Massive props must be paid to the lighting designer, as the incredible space is maximised while highlighting the feats onstage with a subtle wash of light.It has become rare for us to see lighting maximised at FRINGE WORLD, but this work remains consistently stunning throughout. Not a note is missing.
It is a slick production, the transitions seamless, and the perfect synchronisation of performers as they work together makes this nothing less than a work of art. It takes acrobatics and aerial spectacle and elevates it to extraordinary heights. Here’s hoping they return for another season in 2020. Syncope is simply sublime.
Photos by Johannes Reinhart