Inspired by a year that has challenged what it means to touch, this show from Adelaide-based contemporary circus company Gravity & Other Myths explores the intimacy that comes from connecting with our fellow humans. From affection to aggression, dependency to autonomy, closeness and distance, there is no singular sense or meaning to the human condition, but a consistency in our need for closeness.

An ensemble of eight acrobatic artists dressed in their best COVID lockdown attire take to the minimalist stage in The Boboli in The Garden of Unearthly Delights. These world-class performers raise the bar on contemporary dance and physical theatre, with the beautiful choreography offering a perfect balance between intensity and fun.

The relaxed, playful disposition of the performers belies the strength and precision required as they live up to their company name, defying gravity and pushing bodies to the limits.

They are supported on stage by local five-piece jazz-soul band Nu Article, which takes the performance to the next level. There’s a connection between the acrobats and musicians that is impossible to re-create through recorded music; deep rhythms and grooves are just the thing to push the show’s themes through to the audience’s core.

In a brief interlude from the choreography, one member of the ensemble takes to the microphone to engage the audience in a discussion on what it means to be touched, and it is suggested we are all already touching each other through the air. To be clear, beyond the stage, no one gets physically touched in any manner; audience participation remains firmly in general sounds of agreement and spontaneous applause. However, the discussion leaves us with something to think about.

I Want to Touch You is a beautiful, tight and timely expression of human connection, told through artists at the top of their game. It was a late addition to the Adelaide Fringe program – announced only after Gravity & Other Myths’ large-scale, full-ensemble production The Pulse finished its Adelaide Festival season – and is the company’s first new Fringe show since the acclaimed A Simple Space. Don’t miss the opportunity to see it while it’s still for our eyes only.

I Want to Touch You is playing at The Boboli at The Garden of Unearthly Delights until March 21.

Read more Adelaide Fringe reviews and previews  here.

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.