Circus act moves to classical vibe

We've seen animal circuses, burlesque circuses, punk circuses and aerial circuses.

Now classical chamber music is getting in on the act as Brisbane circus troupe Circa teams with a French string quartet for one of the final shows at the Perth International Arts Festival.

The Debussy String Quartet performed part of the show Opus blindfolded as acrobats tumbled around them, Circa director Yaron Lifschitz said.

The show Opus, which opened last night, paid homage to the music of Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich and the expressive beauty of human movement, Lifschitz said.

Lifschitz said Circa was devoted to exploring the theatrical poetry and artistic possibilities of circus.

Matching the circus skills to the music of Shostakovich would tug on the emotional heartstrings, he said.

"Shostakovich is music that speaks very deeply to me," Lifschitz said during a final technical rehearsal at the Regal Theatre. "It is emotionally powerful and it touches me - and I think it touches an audience."

Violinists Christophe Collette and Marc Vieillefon, viola player Vincent Deprecq and Fabrice Bihan on cello were very much a part of the action, moving around the stage and interacting with the 10 acrobats, Lifschitz said.

He described the human body as the most magnificent expressive vehicle of all.

"It is circus that moves you and I think it is definitely music that moves you too," he said.

Circa was last seen by Perth audiences in Immunity, a segment in the film adaption of Tim Winton's The Turning.

Lifschitz said Opus would appeal to lovers of classical music, who would be thrilled by seeing the music come to life in a respectful and interesting way.

And circus lovers might see a new, accessible side to classical music, he said.

Opus is a sequel to How Like an Angel, Circa's 2012 acrobatic show performed to Renaissance music sung by British choral group I Fagiolini. It runs at the Regal Theatre until Saturday.

The West Australian

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