After worldwide success with their particular brand of circus highlighting physical connection, Gravity & Other Myths are back home to present their new work Out Of Chaos…
The show is in its infancy but has already had several iterations. "What we’re doing at the Festival is the result of six weeks of creation in Adelaide," says associate director and acrobat Jascha Boyce.
"The original conception of the show began 12 months ago in France, but it’s evolved so much since then.
"Humans are interested in being interested in things of the world – from the smallest particles to the bigger picture, the universe," says Boyce.
This thirst for understanding became the genesis for the show’s storyline. "Humans are interested in exploring ideas of what people need to make sense of their own world and this was the start for most of our physical conception for the show.
"There is a subtle global theme, but at the same time, to counter to the vastness of the universe, there is the common thread of Gravity & Other Myths’ trademark themes of humanity and ultra connectedness," she says.
There are some interesting new technological changes to drive this greater story of human curiosity. "The tech is very new," says Boyce. "We use a bunch of wireless lights which the cast control themselves, which is very challenging but very exciting. We also have a new musician, Ekrem Eli Phoenix, who is half Bulgarian, half Turkish. His music is a very different style to anything Gravity & Other Myths has ever worked with."
Phoenix is known for his ethereal sounds and his genre-pushing performances, which seem a great fit for Out Of Chaos... "We’ve had to rethink the entire stage space," laughs Boyce. "Ekrem is displayed prominently for the entire show, so we have to work around him." Out Of Chaos… is also introducing some new members to the Gravity & Other Myths crew. "There are lots of new faces, most of the original and founding members have stepped back," says Boyce. "There is one acrobat from the original crew who has done Backbone and A Simple Space, but a few totally new people. We’ve taken in Cirkidz graduates and some graduates from other schools in Australia."
Picking up new graduates from Cirkidz and giving something back to the industry is important for the company. "We all grew up in Cirkidz," says Boyce. "If we didn’t have Cirkidz we probably wouldn’t be here. Daniel Aubin [Director and CEO of the South Australian Circus Centre] pushed us to create and change together, even after we’d left."
This community within Cirkidz and greater Adelaide allowed the company to grow and push themselves in their creation of work. "The Adelaide Fringe is an incredible launchpad for emerging arts," says Boyce. "It was much easier for us to create a show and put it on in Adelaide. Adelaide Fringe have a huge support network for new and emerging work."
After their premiere performance at Catapult Festival in Melbourne, they caught the eye of Circus Oz director Mike Finch. "Mike saw the first show and pushed us to apply for some financial support which led to Freefall’s premiere in Adelaide."
From that premiere, the company has gone from strength to strength. "We’re still performing Backbone and A Simple Space almost all the time," says Boyce. "This year we will have three full-time touring shows around the world, which will be a first for us!"
Although their shows are performed across various seas, the casts are almost entirely Australian, save for Boyce’s American husband Joren Dawson. "We try to find people we know and we have a relationship with," she says. "The most important thing is the connection we have with each other on and off stage. We make that a focus, we make sure we’re friends off stage too and that we have that connection so it shows in our chemistry on stage."
The company is also expanding into new and more experimental work through side label Ampersand. "Ampersand is there to support the creative projects that don’t quite fit under the umbrella of Gravity & Other Myths," says Boyce. Ampersand includes JELLY OR JAM, Boyce and Dawson’s children’s show, which is also at Adelaide Fringe this season. "We’ve been able to branch out into more event and producing work through Ampersand, including late night entertainment. We’ve been able to program amazing shows and acts and it’s allowed for some really different experiences in different areas."
Keeping true to their roots, while also branching into philosophical storytelling and exploration, Gravity & Other Myths prove they deserve to be on the world stage.