Bianco: No Fit State Circus

Bianco, No Fit State Circus, Aerial Straps

Aerial Straps

On Saturday, I went with the family to see No Fit State Circus perform their show Bianco, in Cardiff. No Fit State are a Cardiff based contemporary circus company, who’ve performed all over the world. Bianco is touring at the moment (although they are currently set up in their own carpark) with a proper circus Big Top.

Co-produced with The Eden Project, Bianco is an immersive promenade piece (meaning the audience is moved around, depending on where the action is taking place). Performers are amongst, above and behind the audience, so there’s always several different things to watch going on, as towers, hoops and tightropes are dropped in and out of the performance space.

No Fit State Circus, Bianco. Trapeze

I know a little about No Fit State from my days in Art’s Marketing (I know a previous Marketing Manager of theirs) but have never actually managed to see them. I wish I hadn’t waited so long. Bianco is mesmerising. The two hours on your feet feel like nothing, honestly, thanks to how engaging the show is. The performers are all mind-blowingly talented, showing off their skills with beautiful routines on trapezes, aerial straps, hoops, tight ropes, trampolines…you name it, these guys can do it. The show cleverly dips between fun, fast-paced routines with the whole company (my personal favourite being a segment with the cast pretending to be swimming and throwing beachballs around) to atmospheric, emotional solo pieces, and everything in between.

Contemporary Circus is not ring-masters and elephants. It’s acrobatics, with an almost cabaret feel. No Fit State are masters at injecting humour into their work, too, which is no small feat when you’re hanging one-handed from an aerial strap.

Bianco, No Fit State Circus

I spent the whole performance entirely hypnotised, as did everyone else I was with! The beauty of Bianco is that there’s something to catch everyone’s attention, be it the skill and strength of the cast, the graceful beauty of it or the immensely talented live band. I saw some very tiny tots in the crowd who were just as fixated as the adults.

If you get the chance to see Bianco or anything else No Fit State are doing, you MUST go. The company do regular workshops, free outdoor performances and even teach circus skills in their base in Cardiff. Keep up with what they’re up to on their website. Bianco is in Cardiff until 7th June, when the show continues on to Limerick, Rennes, Edinburgh and Utrecht. Dates can be found here.

Photos are from No Fit State’s website, as there is no photographer allowed during the show. 

Lippy, Brash and Unshaven. Balletboyz: The Talent at Theatre Royal Bath

Balletboyz Serpent

This is a little belated, but on Sunday, I went to see the wonderful Balletboyz at Theatre Royal Bath. This is the second incarnation of the Balletboyz, after the original members retired from dancing themselves. They began auditioning dancers for this show, The Talent, which is currently on it’s fourth season.

I’ve never seen the Balletboyz live before, but I’ve been a fan of their television programmes for quite a while. They’ve made a series of documentaries about the ballet world, my favourite of which is Strictly Bolshoi, a behind the scenes look at the Bolshoi Ballet. So naturally, when I saw the Balletboyz were coming to Bath, there was no question about going.

They performed two pieces. The first, Serpent, was absolutely beautiful. The boys appear all dressed in flesh-toned tights, so there is literally nothing to distract you from the movement. With only ten dancers on stage, there is nowhere to hide, so each movement has to be totally precise. Their lines were stunning, and they were impressively in sync. A lot of the movement, as you might expect from a piece called Serpent, was quite ‘rippling’, very flowing. My dad said it reminded him of sea anemones. I spent the whole piece utterly hypnotised.

The second piece was Fallen. This was very different, far more urban. I think overall I preferred Serpent, but the liftwork in Fallen was incredible. The strength of these dancers is unbelievable. They made some very complex lifts look absolutely effortless. It takes a lot of strength and skill to be lifted too, and is not the standard training for male dancers, which made this all the more impressive.

I’m so glad I went to see them, and wouldn’t hesitate to see them again. The skills on display were stunning, and I love the whole idea of Balletboyz and their new take on the world of ballet. Ballet is very classical, and often viewed as quite stuffy. Balletboyz are fun, doing something new and unexpected. Whether you’re a ballet fan or not, you ought to see Balletboyz. And not only because the boys are all gorgeous.

Me being me, I couldn’t resist the merchandise stand on the way out.

Balletboyz t-shirtCool, huh? This t-shirt has now become my preferred nightwear. I love it, just a little.

The Talent is touring until the end of March. You can find full dates here. Go and look, and if they’re somewhere near you (and not sold out. These guys are popular!) book some tickets and go. Trust me. You won’t be dissapointed.