Incredible acrobatics in a messy show

Hans was Heiri, an impressive production by dance company Zimmerman & de Perrot, continued their tour through Europe in Brussels this week. This Swiss troupe of physical magicians do not just put on a simple acrobatic show, but deliver a spectacular piece of jaw dropping showmanship; if not a little long and sometimes visually too chaotic.

At the centre of the stage a huge box you cannot miss, divided into four sparsely furnished rooms. After a mystifying introductory dance-scene we finally get what we came here to see, the antics of six extraordinary acrobats inside this rotating box. The performers, all very neatly defined as characters, negotiate the box, its movements and each other. In little scenes that take place all over the stage and box, we are treated to some incredible acrobatics. All under a strange but effective soundtrack mixed by Dimitri de Perrot himself as the seventh member of this raggedy band of artists.

The choreography, especially that within the confines of the box, is baffling. How five people inside one little room can manage to work the movements of the box without falling out, or on top of each other, and do this gracefully to boot is a mystery. Defying every law of gravity they work against the laws of nature and stun with some truly amazing moments of movement and elegance. Unfortunately there is little coherence between scenes, the loose theme of ‘living together in a shared environment’ not strong enough to lead to any contemplation and sometimes the connections are so shifty they relinquish the audience’s interest and leave them wishing for some simple somersaults. However, despite its lengthy run and the chaotic interpretation, Hans was Heiri is a feast for the eyes and will leave you a fresh look on mimes and acrobats.

Hans was Heiri is now touring through Europe

More info on the KVS

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I'm a Dutch writer/poet/walnut eater living in Brussels. I enjoy theatre. Playing, writing, watching, reviewing it. I have no children, no dogs but I do have a set of dead cactuses.

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