Circus-art company The Dust Palace's new show will mesmerise – and surprise you

by Alex Blackwood / 02 August, 2018
Dust Palace performers. Photos/Supplied.

Dust Palace performers. Photos/Supplied.

Circus theatre company The Dust Palace’s new show, Human, is a mesmerising performance that showcases what the human body is capable of.

Even as you take your seat at Human, performers are already in the air, casually twisting about acrobatic frames as if that’s just what they do with their evenings. While you’re waiting for the show to begin – the lights haven’t yet dimmed and the audience is still chatting – you find out that it’s actually already started.

A few more performers enter, sparkling in their costumes, giggling between themselves and climbing over the equipment. One of them pauses just by my table to kick off her heels before running after her friends.

The performers are so good at immersing you in their world, you almost forget their careless and playful entrance is designed and rehearsed. I say ‘almost’ because once the show starts, there’s no question that the performers aren’t just dancers and acrobats – they’re full-on athletes.

 

The sheer spectacle of seeing another human spinning, contorting and leaping all at the same time, while also acting a subtly interwoven yet compelling story is staggering, but the costume, music, lighting and staging are all flawless and surprising.

Quite honestly I sat there a little dumbfounded.

It was so mesmerising I kept forgetting about Shane Cortese. Yes, that Shane Cortese – of Shortland Street, Outrageous Fortune, Westside and The Almighty Johnsons. My double-take at the programme upon seeing his name didn’t sufficiently prepare me for seeing him striding out in his black blazer and singing – actually, really damn well. 

And it wasn’t just his musical skills, as well as a soundtrack that had me wondering if they had a Spotify playlist I could follow. Even better, award-winning concert pianist Flavio Villani added perfectly to the atmosphere.

While these elements provide a perfect complement to the performers' sheer talent and athleticism, they’re  incredible acrobats and dancers who know what they are doing, without any hidden strings or tricks – and it’s for that reason I recommend you go and see Human. It's a performance you need to see.

See Human by The Dust Palace at Q Theatre, Auckland, 1-4 August 2018.

Latest

How to eat a New Zealand forest, and other secrets
108277 2019-07-18 00:00:00Z Planet

How to eat a New Zealand forest, and other secrets…

by Sally Blundell

Our native forests provide food and natural medicines, support jobs, hinder erosion and play a major role in climate-change mitigation.

Read more
Simon Bridges searches for a miracle
108491 2019-07-17 00:00:00Z Politics

Simon Bridges searches for a miracle

by Graham Adams

The opposition leader hoped to pick up election-winning tips in Australia.

Read more
Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela on the tragedy of post-apartheid South Africa
108416 2019-07-17 00:00:00Z Profiles

Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela on the tragedy of post-apa…

by Clare de Lore

Scathing critic of South African Government corruption Pumla Gobodo-Madikizela, here to give a public lecture, has insights about forgiveness after...

Read more
Writer Robert Macfarlane finds deeps truths in Underland
108287 2019-07-17 00:00:00Z Books

Writer Robert Macfarlane finds deeps truths in Und…

by Tony Murrow

In a new book, Robert Macfarlane heads underground to ponder mankind’s effect on the planet.

Read more
Why extra virgin olive oil is back on the menu for frying
108203 2019-07-17 00:00:00Z Nutrition

Why extra virgin olive oil is back on the menu for…

by Jennifer Bowden

For decades, the word in the kitchen has been that olive oil shouldn’t be used for frying, but new research could change that.

Read more
Abstract artist Gretchen Albrecht's true colours
108108 2019-07-16 00:00:00Z Profiles

Abstract artist Gretchen Albrecht's true colours

by Linda Herrick

Gretchen Albrecht paintings may be intangible, but they are triggered by real-life experience, she tells Linda Herrick.

Read more
That's a Bit Racist is playful, but it packs a punch
108435 2019-07-16 00:00:00Z Television

That's a Bit Racist is playful, but it packs a pun…

by Diana Wichtel

The taboo-busting doco is trying to change our default settings on race, but some people aren't stoked.

Read more
Are there too many tourists in NZ?
108444 2019-07-16 00:00:00Z Life in NZ

Are there too many tourists in NZ?

by North & South

Here's what's inside North and South's August 2019 issue.

Read more