Four bodies, a few pieces of circus apparatus, and some eggs: that’s all Casus Circus needs to put on a jaw-dropping acrobatics show. I saw Casus’ opening performance last night, and spent nearly the entire time in a state of amazement at what this small company was capable of. They flipped, balanced, soared, and performed serious feats of strength — like when the sole female performer, Kali Retallack, started from a lying down position and lifted her fellow male performer, Jake Silvestro, as he stood on her back.  

Led by the Samoan founder of Casus Circus, Natano Fa’anana, Silvestro, Retallack, and Jesse Huygh went through choreographed group routines, solo performances, and lots and lots of trust falls (except with much higher stakes than your average workplace team-building trust fall). 

One of the highlights of the show, for me, was Retallack’s solo on the aerial ring — she hung from her feet, balanced on the small of her back, and twisted and spun so quickly it was impossible to tell where her legs and arms were going to end up. The other highlight was the group trapeze act, which closed the performance; starting with Fa’anana, one by one each member climbed up the others to hang from the trapeze or from each other. It was a suitably incredible finale to a great performance. 

Note: the cast that performed is not the one pictured. I’m hoping we’ll get some performance pictures from the festival soon. 

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