Humans 2.0

by Circa
Esplanade Theatre, Singapore

I was just telling my friend that most of the Singapore International Festival of Arts shows we've caught this year have a rather 'fringe' feel to them without any clear blockbusters. Humans 2.0, which closes the festival weekend and fills up the Esplanade Theatre, definitely has me eating my words. 

Presented by Australian group Circa and running for only two performances, to call this a circus seems both apt and terribly reductive. Ten performers gather on a circular stage. They come together like molecules on a petri dish, moving in sync, twisting and turning around, their bodies beating with an irreverent, childlike energy. 

There are elements of gymnastics, acrobatics, yoga (imagine a wheel pose with someone walking all over your back!) and dance weaved into the various segments but everything feels entirely organic, almost as if the performers had just wandered into this shared space for a bit of fun. Pulsating music by Ori Lichtik and mood lighting by Paul Jackson transform the simple, open stage into an arena of boundless possibility, one that has the capacity to thrill, terrify and tease. 

Director Yaron Lifschitz mentions in the programme that we should think of ‘human’ not as a noun but as a verb and the show truly celebrates this as we see the human body recontextualised and pushed to its playful limits. Ironically, I rather wished for Humans 2.0 to be realised on a smaller stage because I wanted to get up close to the action. A thrilling way to end the festival.

The Crystalwords score: 3.5/5


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