Les Arts Sauts
@ Torrens Parade Ground
5:00pm, Sun 10 Mar 2002
Short Review: Ripped
As I sat in my deckchair within the 21 metre white bubble hemi-sphere atop the Torrens Parade grounds (hereafter known as the “GooberDome”), I had to suppress the rage my fellow GooberDome-goers were creating within me. “Why aren’t the seats numbered?” “We watch SBS and ABC, so we know how to say ‘Les Arts Sauts’.”
The show begins on a very dull note – a lot of swinging about high up in the GooberDome by a trapezist or two. People swinging in from the sides of the Dome in some semi-choreographed routine. No real thrills here.
About 25 minutes into the show, chains descend from the roof to lift the steel rig – upon which the band (cello, bass, viola, singers) perched – to the top of the Dome. “Cool”, thinks I, “they’re going to do acrobatic stuff off a swaying metal rig”. But no – the rig was firmly fastened to the support structure of the GooberDome. No swaying at all.
When (what I consider to be) the act proper started, and people started ooh-ing and aah-ing, I couldn’t shake this little demon from my head – “Why wasn’t the rig up there before we entered the GooberDome? Why did we have to sit around for 25 minutes while they (essentially) set up? Why did I have to pay for that?”.
Well, for 20 minutes there was all manner of mid-air hijinks, and it was all pretty… disconnected. By which I mean that I was unable to emote at all with these tumbling acrobats. There was a little variety, and to be honest there were actually a couple of genuinely exciting stunts – but when I noticed that the music was (rather blatantly) being used to generate an increased level of excitement for the same tricks seen earlier, I started feeling ripped off. To be honest, the most spectacular part was the performers “dismounts” at the end of the show. Mmmmmm… freefall.
Initially, you’d think that kicking back in a deckie, looking up towards the action is a pretty good idea. Well yeah, it is – unless you don’t like looking directly into spotlights, whereupon you’re gonna have sore eyes, mon amis. And since I was parting with 67 sheckles for a 68 minute show, I expect to actually have a 68 minute show – not the 58 minutes we got (which, I must remind you, included 25 minutes of piss-farting around before the good bits started).
And, at the end of the day, I felt utterly relieved to leave the GooberDome. Les Arts Sauts took my gladly proffered money and provided me with an emotionally bereft, mesmerisingly duplicitous experience. Millions may love this show, but not I. Go catch every show in the Lunar Tent rather than this hyped gloss.