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19 September, 2021

Inspiring, funny, invigorating control, skill and sheer high-energy from six talented performers

Collision was a late addition to the full 2021 Brisbane Festival program, demonstrating the flexibility and skill of local artists to provide superb content at the drop of a hat (or, in this case, at the balance of a hula hoop).

Described as ‘a cross-pollination of contemporary circus and urban and street dance,’ this is a show that well and truly delivers on its promise.

Director Natano Fa’anana, creative consultant/choreographer Ché Pritchard, and the six artists (Amy Stuart, Ben Garcia, Ela Bartilimo, Riley Colquist, Sam Evans, and Wanida Serce) have created a high-energy collaboration that seamlessly melds acrobatic circus and hip hop dance.

And leaves the audience inspired, invigorated, and more than a little in awe of the control, skill and sheer high-energy of these talented performers (and of their co-creatives).

Brisbane’s Casus Circus have certainly demonstrated the breadth and depth of their skills during the 2021 Brisbane Festival, with a program that has included the fabulous Aunties Fia’Fia Night, and a number of Street Serenades.

Collision is an inspired melding of Casus Circus acrobatics with Mad Dance House’s hip hop.

The show is a funny, high-energy display of balance, aerial rope, hip-hop, hula hoop, breakdance, strength and more.

The one hour show combines around a dozen different acts that appear to be selected from a juke box—with a line of rotating artists, moving under flickering lights, suggesting a random ordering of the show.

But there is nothing random about Collision.

Fa’anana has brought six talented artists who are capable of working together as a group, individually, or in different combinations.

Each of the six artists has their turn in the spotlight—with numbers that feature the Stuart’s stunning hula hoop work, Serce’s dance skills, Evans ‘chest hip hop’ control (a really high-skill and witty piece, that did have me thinking of the Alien film), Bartilimo’s amazing rope aerial skill, Garcia’s high-energy Push It breakdancing, and Colquist’s incredible ‘bendiness.’

I really enjoyed the ‘duets.’

Bartilimo and Colquist’s work on the handstand balance poles was just so special—and amazing to have the opportunity to see the performers right at the front of the stage.

Garcia and Colquist’s ‘waiting for a bus’ routine was funny, beautifully-observed and a great demonstration of the skills of the acrobat and the dancer.

The highest energy numbers were generally those where all (or most) of the artists were working together, in dance and circus.

I loved the circus dance moves that evoked the towering Indian goddess.

And Stuart, Bartilimo, and Serce’s tower was a memorable piece of some really powerful strength and balance work.

The show culminated in a fabulous witty, high-energy dance-circus piece that featured all six of the artists, centred on work over, under and around a square board.

I wholeheartedly recommend this show.

And it looks as if I am not alone, as Collision is almost sold out (you may still be able to get 3pm matinee tickets on 22-23 September if you are quick).

If you can’t get tickets, do look out for the team at one of the Street Serenades, where you get to see extracts from the main show for free (there are three free 30-minute performances on 25th September, at Wacol, Corinda and Archerfield).

But if you can get a ticket for the show, I definitely recommend a trip to Brisbane’s Northshore to see Collision.