One of the world’s leading performance companies returns to Markham after an absence of several years for a show that is uniquely human.

The Australian-based company Circa will be presenting one of its latest shows ‘Humans’ at Flato Markham Theatre on January 17.

So many remember 61 Acts in 60 Minutes, their last show in Markham. Considered to be Circa’s all-time favourite family show, it featured a bunch of fast, furious fun with four multi-skilled performers and upbeat music.

‘Humans’ is uniquely different. Ten acrobats bring a mix of dance, physical theatre and circus to a show that explores the ways humans struggle, connect, crash, control, love, laugh, and move through life.

Artistic director Yaron Lifschitz created ‘Humans’ in conjunction with the Circa Ensemble as a series of short vignettes. The stage is stripped bare to show the vulnerability of the acrobats. Each is highly dependent on their team mate. They show incredible strength and integrity in the way that they connect, moving seamlessly from moment to moment in a  heart-stopping performance.

It is a show that celebrates what it means to be human. They explore the physical limits of their bodies as they are pushed to the extreme. They question how much can humans take? How much weight can they carry and who can be trusted to support the load. All questions that can occur in day-to-day life from the burdens we carry to the physical and emotional strength it takes to overcome them.

It also incorporates a mix of humour and drama and music. Featured pieces run the gamut from Lajko Felix’s El Cavillo and Vincent Peirani’s Waltz for JB to James Brown’s Please, Please, Please and Andy Williams’ The Impossible Dream.

Members of the ensemble come from a variety of different backgrounds. Almost all have chosen to specialize in different aspects of the circus arts such as tight rope, jugging, aerial, trapeze, hand balancing, contortion and aerial hoop. There is also some puppetry, elementary of theatre and dance.

Nathan Knowles, who participated in the creation of ‘Humans’, spent 10 years studying acrobatic dance and contortion. He was accepted into Montreal’s renowned National Circus School where he spent four years specializing in hand balancing, contortion and aerial hoop. He has been part of the Circa ensemble since 2016.

Caroline Baillon, who has traveled the globe performing in ‘Humans’ and other shows, knew she wanted to be a circus artist at the age of five. She trained for 10 years in the south-west of France before joining École de cirque de Québec, where she specialized in banquine, multicorde and hand-to-hand. She joined the Circa ensemble in 2017.

Circa is an award-winning contemporary circus ensemble that creates numerous shows and tours all over the world.


Photo: Circa will be presenting one of its latest shows ‘Humans’ at Flato Markham Theatre on Jan. 17. Photo courtesy of Sarah Walker.

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