Walking into the Burrinja Cultural Centre on the final day of their Circus Festival to enjoy the Ruccis Student Showcase felt very much like I had travelled back in time to one of my many dance recitals from my childhood. Everywhere I looked there were students in costumes and makeup milling around, greeting family and friends before the show. My walk down memory lane ended when I entered the theatre however, as the juggling batons placed carefully onstage quickly brought me back to the present.
The showcase jumped right into things with its opening piece — a lively group juggling performance. We were treated to a common circus act in uncommon variety, with balls, batons, blocks, and rings, as well as some dexterous and theatrical hat tricks. As I was expecting the performances to include some overlap of different students using the same apparatuses, I was pleasantly surprised that every act was entirely unique. As an audience member who practices in an aerial studio already, the variety of aerial apparatuses (Straps, Rope, and Trapeze for those wondering), and the aerialists that flew on them, made me itch to get in the air and learn new ways to enjoy a fearless flight of my own. I can only assume that my fellow audience members were similarly inspired by these talented students.
There were two standout performances in the show that absolutely took my breath away. Sam and his Cyr Wheel was easily one of the most mesmerising acts that I’ve ever been treated to. Where most performers need to work on smooth transitions between stunts and poses, he whirled effortlessly around the stage, absolutely hypnotizing everyone. Maddi and Liam finished the show with a both physically and emotionally powerful piece. They literally took aerial hoop to a whole new level by mounting a hoop on a pole and bracing the creation on Liam’s shoulder. The control displayed by the duo was captivating, and the chemistry and trust evident in their dance would have made it my favourite act regardless of song choice; the fact that they choreographed this to a magnificently slow cover of ‘Wicked Game’ made a flawless performance, somehow, even better.
Overall, Ruccis put together a wonderful showcase. Although it wasn’t lengthy, they truly packed the best performances in for the audience to enjoy. It was the definition of an ideal student showcase. I don’t doubt that they will be getting enquiries about their classes after tonight, and I highly encourage everyone to check out Ruccis and everything they have to offer.
Review by Alyssa Baker for Good Vibes Media
Images by Tania Pendlebury