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Fringe review: Le Aerial

Adelaide Fringe

Le Aerial takes on the challenge of high-flying acrobatics and dance, as it attempts to leave audiences in awe of our homegrown talent. ★★½

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Le Aerial is a display of aerial tricks and movement from Aerial Artists Australia, an Adelaide-based group of gymnasts, dancers and acrobats. They take on everything from the tradition pole, hoop and silks, to a cage, mesh, chains and even a bicycle.

The show is peppered with beautiful costumes and graceful performers, and an evocative score sets a mood of anticipation and wonder as the audience enters the theatre. But unfortunately, Le Aerial never quite gets it right.

Synchronicity is never achieved – with clashes of music and lights, choreography and mood – and the music is an odd mix of live vocals and backing tracks. As it hits its crescendo, the performers are unhooking their equipment or slowly walking off the stage.

The lights mostly remain bright, sucking the drama from the performance. The choreography fails to match the mood, or shifts into strange interruptions – such as a breakout 1950s-inspired routine set to Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog” or a motorbike making an entrance only to drop off a performer and park on the side of the stage.

Nonetheless, with every act of balance, flexibility and fearlessness, the artists of Le Aerial prove their talents. The pole performance is graceful and emotional, and each duo creates interesting shows of strength and beauty.

This group has the acrobatic talent to produce something amazing, but perhaps they should start smaller – creating intimacy, consistency of tone and storytelling, instead of aiming for spectacle. With more attention to the production of a cohesive performance, they may reach greater heights in the future.

Le Aerial is at the Apollo Theatre, Adelaide Convention Centre, until March 4. Read more InDaily Fringe reviews and stories here.

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