London’s Southbank Centre has proved to be a local hotspot for Visual/Viral events. With the Tate Modern, Old Globe, and British Film Institute all bordering the River Thames it only makes sense for London’s semi provocative, and acrobatically disturbing Vaudeville circus CANTINA to headline the Priceless London Wonderground.
It’s not an understatement when I say acrobatically disturbing; CANTINA has gained its fame from combining both intense acrobatic work with a touch of S&M. Acrobatics by it self can be thought of as slightly sensual with its performers having the ability to stretch and pull portions of their bodies in ways not many can but CANTINA took it to the point that could have left some audience members slightly shocked or maybe even aroused. Through out the show the both the male and female performers are strutting their stuff and getting the audience excited, but I hadn’t heard gasp that loud until one of the performers decided to literally walk on the back of her fellow cast mate while contorted, in 5 inch heels. It looked painful, one wrong move and the man on the floor could have been severely hurt. Which got me looking deeper into all their stunts. Each and every one of them not only required intense concentration and skill but a deep trust in one another. None of what they did was easy or could be done alone. But putting the obvious partner work aside, even the solo performances required a little teamwork. For instance when one of the female acrobats began to tip toe across a line of empty bottles she made an error and slightly slipped, yet she seamlessly pulled it off making it seem as if it was intentional. What gave the mistake away yet saved it at the same time was the man who played musician. As she is balancing across the bottles the singer strums away at his uke providing the audience with a feeling of relaxation during a time of great stress for the young performer. Before she reaches the end of the bottles the man is already done with his song. But knowing she hasn’t finished with her act he keeps on strumming and keeps on humming to keep the show going on.