Corps extrêmes ★★★★ Sadler's Wells Theatre | May 23 & 24, 2023

Acrophobes beware! This show opens with a video projection of a terrifying crossing of a deep chasm on a rope. However, the voice-over is surprisingly reassuring and matter-of-fact about it all, and this sets the almost meditative tone for the extraordinary display of athletic prowess which is to follow. Indeed, this show takes the apprehensive viewer on a journey that will turn fear into wonder. Choreographer Rachid Ouramdane combines the elements of dance, rope walking and climbing into a spectacle that astounds and enthrals. The backdrop is a huge climbing board which the dancers incorporate into a number of postures which defy both gravity and apperception. The sense of freedom and flight is explored through a marrying of acrobatics and dance which is beautifully complemented by the score of Jean-Baptiste Julien. Corps extrêmes provides a unique experience, and if by the end of the evening, one is still not convinced to undertake extreme sports oneself, the company has consummately shared the experience and exhilaration of those who do.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo © Pascale Cholette.

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