Photo: Justin Ma


DanceHouse in association with The Cultch

Circa’s Sacre

When & Where January 17-21, 2023 at 8pm | Vancouver Playhouse, 600 Hamilton Street

Director & Stage Designer YaronLifschitz Composers Philippe Bachman & Igor Stravinsky Lighting Design Veronique Benett Costume Design Libby McDonnell Technical Director Jason Organ Producer Danielle Kellie

Reviewer Nancie Ottem

The Circus, The Big Top, The Greatest Show on Earth are words that capture the imagination. A make believe world that is bigger than life, full of light, razzle dazzle, feats of daring watched with wide eyed amazement. There is an underbelly to a circus too, a dark side, lurid curiosity, a sense of the unknown that captures the darker side of imagination.

Sacre, Yaron Lifschitz’s creation melds these two facets of the circus experience presenting an extravaganza of acrobatic daring that takes place on a set sparingly lit. Sacre is full of wide eyed amazement, feats of daring and sensuality. It is a creation with an underlying building block of trust. The ten performers need complete trust in each other as they perform Lifschitz’s intricate acrobatic choreography.

Circa, formed in 2004 has performed in many countries over the world bringing a new interpretation of the dance experience to audiences. In the choreography of Sacre, Lifschitz combines differing dance disciplines into the acrobatic sequences. The 65 minute performance flows with the grace of ballet, the speed of ice dancing and a kinetic flow of human shapes formed by the performers.

It is a mesmerizing experience that brought many gasps from the audience. The strength, timing, and agility in the acrobatic formations flowed along with the music created by Philippe Bachman. Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is the inspiration for much of Bachman’s score. The lighting designed by Veronique Benett varied from a permeation of darkness to chiseled light cast on the performers to soft spot circles of light. The overall dimness highlighted the incredible skill required of these acrobats. Perfect timing and complete trust were highly visible in their performance.

Circa’s Sacre brings an opportunity for Vancouver audiences to experience dance within an acrobatic definition. Contemporary dance fused with acrobatics. Sensuous and compelling. Take it in. Not to be missed.

© 2023 Nancie Ottem