Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Head Over Heels in Love - Casus' Knee Deep

Romancing the egg (Source: ACPTA)
Casus' debut production Knee Deep is jaw-droppingly fucking unbelievable! Knee Deep is an intimate show that highlights the wonderful versatility and resilience of the human body . . . words don't do justice, I really recommend seeing it.

Knee Deep is an erotic and evocative experience where the cast storm the stage with an ineffable exuberance. The troupe, made up of unusually attractive circus artists Jessie Scott, Natano Fa’anana, Emma Serjeant, and Lachlan McAulay, are a delight to watch, oozing with sensuality and sharing an incredible chemistry and sensitivity between each other. Their raw emotion on stage is conveyed through movements and interactions of staggering grace and dexterity, and the performance is nothing short of inspirational.

There are so many incredible moments in the piece!! The artists perform hula hoops, aerial silks, hand-balancing on canes, trapeze, and much more, all complimented by incredibly poetic choreography in movement and dance. Almost every section was a crowd pleaser, although the audience seemed to spend most of the time so enthralled that it seemed inappropriate to act. Throughout the piece there are these interludes where the artists move in an elaborate Pas de Deuxs - they vary in being cheeky, erotic and beautiful. McAulay and Serjeant perform just prior to the hand balancing act, and that was absolutely my favourite moment of the entire night.

Attractive performers . . .  no joke
(Source: Concrete Playground)
The circus feats are all performed with meticulous proficiency, although I'd rather a bit less variety and instead seen an elaboration on other acts. The only thing that made me cringe (and people around me gag) was tapping the nail up the nose. There's some disgusting fascination behind it but the segment is pretty quick and doesn't really do much other than ruin the poetic flow.

The soundtrack, assembled by Tim Lamacraft, is pretty erratic, and the mixing is a little aggressive and jarring but I think that's just from the venue. I don't think it was an original score, but it brings on various elements of world music, utilising primal rhythms to French ballads to produce a non-descript, extremely fitting and pleasant soundscape. The set is very minimal as is the lighting, which provides an emphasis to the movement on stage through a simplistic use of washes, small spotting and shadows. Live video projection is also used, although not to a great extent until a paper crane the size of a thumbnail is assembled in front of our eyes. It's such a magical experience and I was wishing I had my own to take home after the show.

Knee Deep is unbelievably magical and I'm totally enchanted by Casus. Such a stunning, honest and fluid performance with incredibly talented and versatile artists - skip the riffraff of circus and experience this truly engaging and special piece.

Tickets for Casus' 'Knee Deep' are $18-$28, and is showing at Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts until June 9th. Duration of approximately 60 minutes. Book by visiting Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts' website.


  1. This a great review Sammy! We're so glad you loved this show as much as we did... As you say, it really is something special.

    1. Just glad to tell people how amazing it was!