Presented by Siro-A and Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 18th October 2019
Techno Circus is a modern version of shadow puppetry that has evolved to incorporate new technologies and staging abilities to produce a multi-layered, sophisticated spectacle. The majority of the work is tightly choreographed dance routines, set to an intense, yet upbeat, soundtrack, with the human performers intertwining their actions with the three dimensional projections.
The crew used their costumes, through changes of colours and masks, to be able to interact with the swiftly alternating imagery that appeared on three different levels of screen, including the screens they must quickly move as part of their dance. The timing and placement displayed in these moments was highly skilled and intricate, while not losing moments for sly humour.
The level of kitsch mix with the intensity of the lighting and music made Techno Circus feel like it could easily be part of a Eurovision production, minus the singing. It was pop culture galore, even down to moments of classic video game inspired music and dance, and the implementation of intergenerationally recognisable movie moments.
While the full show was split into the sketch style moments, the overall flow was strongly tied together with fast-paced moments sliding into softer, graceful movements, before switching again into comedy. The use of ‘circus’ within the group’s name was apt still due to the utilisation of circus techniques, such as juggling, throughout the show, which cleverly provided an entry point for the audience to contrast commonly understood abilities with the more nuanced components.
The show appearing at the OzAsia Festival 2019 wonderfully catered for a wide audience, in particular family groups, and drew out laughter through the multi-age well-known references that were snuck into the show. The team of four mingled and interacted delightfully with the crowd, which culminated in an artful spin on audience participation.
Overall, Techno Circus was a full-length vignette inspired production loaded with dance choreographed to state-of-the-art technology. The Japanese group was high energy and had precisely developed a show that followed a variety of unique performances, that was all held together by the physical theatre.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 4.5 Sophisticated, technological dance delight.
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 18-20 October 2019
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $20.00 – $99.00