An artistic director who talks about juggling, Pina Bausch and the mathematics of dance in the same sentence, by definition will not come up with a run of the mill circus act. “Smashed” tells stories with the help of 9 skilled jugglers, 80 apples, 4 crockery sets and a soundtrack that makes you want to waltz. In Berlin.
The story takes place in uncertain territory, building on a soundtrack reminiscent of the golden days of musical hall, the Blitz years, but also Bach, Tammy Wynette, and more. The rhymes and rhythms of music and jugglers slowly but surely predict a storm. The show is playful and dark, humorous and tragic, absurd and meaningful, constantly juggling with moods and ideas.
The day I saw “Smashed”, the wind was shaking the Underbelly tent. Kansas style. Not a planned extra challenge for the jugglers, but one that added to the dramatic effect of the finale. Needless to say it all went smoothly.
Beautiful and clever, this is a piece of contemporary juggling you don’t want to miss (must end 18 May). Also, you’ll never crave apples this much. And you may consider taking up juggling. Or waltzing. Or both.
Photo credit: Ludovic des Cognets