Here the adventurous spirit of the avant-garde meets the crowd-pleasing slapstick of circus comedy. Camille Boitel’s Association Immédiat is a company out to wow us; their raison d’être is to shake up our ideas about performance and movement. In this piece, Boitel and his fellow Immédiats present a dazzling range of physical invention. The props and sets are crucial to the action: piles of junk, worn wooden furniture, clusters of lights, all arranged with precarious precision. Within these sets the performers twist and turn, lurch and tumble, in a series of movements that look like pratfalls but show the grace and aplomb that only the best physical performers can achieve.
The result is something like dance, something like pantomime—but ultimately the effect is ineffable. The performers move in time with the collapse and transformation of the sets; it’s a world of entropy, with familiar objects taking on a whimsical life of their own. Physical comedy has rarely seemed so expressive— visual anarchy of the Marx Brothers delivered with a French accent. Bridging low comedy and high art, Boitel has created a truly eccentric work. Expect the unexpected, as they say, and prepare to be astonished.
Boitel’s group of seven acrobats ignite the stage with exhilarating energy and extraordinary precision of timing and skilled movement, achieving a superb staged performance.