nytheatre.com review by James Comtois
April 13, 2008
Is there anything more difficult than trying to convey the fun of watching a purely visual and visceral show, particularly a show featuring acrobats? The joys of such a show are all in the watching of the performers, so such concepts as "theme," "story," and "plot" aren't factors. Plus, there's just too big a disparity between the written description of a high-energy acrobatics/dance show and the actual witnessing of the same.
Having offered these caveats, I will do my best to convey to you that Aeros, such an acrobatics/dance show, is a great deal of fun and worth your while. It's definitely in the "fun for the whole family" category. In fact, the audience I was in attendance with was comprised mainly of parents and their young children, most of whom seemed consistently absorbed with the show.
In Aeros, which is skillfully choreographed by Daniel Ezralow, David Parsons, and Moses Pendleton (in collaboration with Stomp creators Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas), the awe-inspiring performers—members of the Romanian Gymnastics Federation—leap through the air, throw their partners in the air, pile up on top of each other to make human sculptures, do back-flips, cartwheels, handstands, handstand pirouettes, aerials, handsprings, and...well, you get the idea: they appear to defy gravity in 19 short vignettes.
Some of these vignettes are humorous pantomime sketches. Some are haunting and hypnotic. Some use transparent video images as backdrops. Some are solo pieces. Some are giant ensemble pieces. All of them are captivating and compelling. Also, with a run-time of just an hour, it never wears out its welcome or becomes tedious.
Certain pieces that stand out in my mind include: one where four of the acrobats play a very elaborate game of musical chairs where they literally throw and flip each other out of the way; a piece performed behind a transparent screen showing a swimming pool where the acrobats appear to be swimming and leaping in and out of the water; one where pairs of women cartwheel across the stage in sync with one another (which sounds very simple and matter-of-fact when described but is quite mesmerizing and fantastic when seen); and one where everyone in the entire ensemble climbs on top of one another to create what appears to be a giant human sunflower.Ultimately, but not surprisingly, words fail me when trying to describe such a show. Suffice it to say, Aeros is top-notch spectacle: pageantry at its finest.