Founded in Budapest in 2012 by director and choreographer Bence Vági, Recirquel Company Budapest is a unique circus outfit that fuel its fusion of physical theatre and dance with the cultural heritage of Eastern-Central Europe. Rather than casting new performers for each production, Recirquel have represented the same artists from its conception in 2012. The company, all in their late teens when they began working with Vági, have grown together as a family. Their most recent production, Paris de Nuit, thrusts its audience into 1930’s Paris. Inside the Spiegeltent hides a night charged with longing, and a tantalizing hunger for all things risqué.
Inspired by the images of Hungarian photographer Brassaï, Paris de Nuit is fashioned by luxurious live jazz, and seized by stimulating acrobatics, decadent dance, and intimate interactions with its audience. A Red velvet canopy immerses spectators in gold trim and fruity stained-glass windows. Booths and tables flock within the Palais du Variété, soaked by red lighting and tingling from the tune of an accordion. A round stage poses beneath a tightrope, cozy with those sitting in the front row, yearning for its actors, and waiting ever so patiently.
Suspenders peep out from underneath gossamer negligee’s, adorned with feathers and attached to glossy stilettos. Fine lace ripens, reduced to corseted waists, bare skin and then more. Movements are achingly slow, choreographed to sensual French nothings courtesy of singer Judit Czignáy, a beautiful blonde that holds no prisoners…or does she?
Innuendo’s ooze from lips, snaking across hips and landing, sweet, a treat balanced on the derriere for a lucky spectator. The company work in an almost loving way, their physicality is sensual, yet careful – no doubt a result of their lengthy artistic relationship. Movements are never explicit, and humour is used delicately to tease out passion, making each hungry routine elegant. Stories smoulder in the eyes of the performers, and their gaze lingers just a little too long, creating a powerful connection with the audience and each-other.
The cast catch your breath and steal it away, tucking it beneath a waistband as they climb into the bosom of the Spiegeltent, circling an aerial hoop high above and tumbling together, man to man, by way of trapeze. Current issues of voyeurism, same-sex relationships and gender fluidity are thrown in to the air and caught by a juggler, feeding a clear narrative that is sustained throughout.
The plot thickens, simmering beneath the surface, and is completely unpredictable. Paris de Nuit enjoys such emotional and physical finesse that the aftertaste of the Recirquel Company Budapest will stay idle on the tongue long after the curtain falls. This melt-in-the-mouth circus is not to be missed.
Paris de Nuit is playing at Assembly George Square Gardens – Spiegeltent until August 27. For more information and tickets, see www.tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on#q=%22Paris%20de%20Nuit%22