For a lightness in living
With Harriet Anderson in Brighton & Hove BN3

Control and Freedom in the Big Top

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The circus is coming to town! Well actually, it’s arrived already and taken up residence in Hove next to the beach. It’s the NoFit State Circus with their latest show Bianco, a wonderful display of acrobatics with a difference. Forget the slickness and smoothness of conventional acrobats which, although impressive in their skillfulness, fail to thrill me.

In contrast, these young performers have a visceral rawness, energy and abandon. This is underlined by the dramatic lighting, punk-grunge costumes and live music.  Yet, of course, at the same time, all the performers are wonderfully poised from an Alexander Technique point of view .

You can clearly see how each head is balancing on an elongating spine,
how legs and arms are moving out of a strong, supporting torso, how each body maintains a deep internal organisation, whether they’re hanging upside down, turning, twisting, flying through the air, shinning up and down scaffolding, or on the tight-rope. It’s this combination of immense skill with wild abandon which makes this troupe special for me. And also confirms again what I discover re-discover in myself and my Alexander Technique pupils, namely: that control need not deprive us of freedom or energy. Indeed, on the contrary, perhaps it is only when we have control over ourselves that we can be fully free and
energised.

This certainly is the path of the Alexander Technique, and one which I
saw spectacularly confirmed in the big top.

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