Right Way Down presents the DYNAMO Workspace co-production Wald.

Dark, quiet, cold and foggy. The sunlight peaks through the leaves. The swaying branches are dancing from side to side in the breeze. All growing without a sound, roots far beyond imagination, all connected within the heart of the ecosystem. Strong they stand alone – but together.

A collective of six circus artists all specializing in the discipline; Handbalancing. The forest serves as a natural metaphor for our physical exploration as it grows from an intense symbiosis. Creating trees with our bodies that tangle together to form new perspectives on handbalancing. We experiment with the absurdities of the upside down with imagery and movement to pull the audience into a world where the rules of normal are inverted.

Handbalancing is a circus discipline which is mainly presented very traditionally, where the balancers display physical control, power and graceful geometry with their bodies. It is often a very solitary discipline, both artistically on stage as well as in the training aspect. It is mainly performed as solo acts, where all focus is on the balancer’s skill and composition of the act.

Wald is about transmuting the solo focus into a group dynamic. Through deconstructing the conventional technique and looking beyond the tricks of the individual, we will explore the highly specific physicality that each of us have spent a decade to develop. 

Circus very often works with variation to create different dynamics and dramaturgy on stage. In this regard we want to go in the opposite direction and research what can happen if we go in depth on 1 single discipline. 

In the traditional way of handbalancing presentation, the “applause moments” are usually are very clear when the balancer holds a difficult position. To create something new, we want to use the handbalancing as the canvas of for the performance rather than as the painting. The skillset would become intrinsic to the physical work, which would take away the “need” to make an impressive statement with the balancing. Removing this limitation of treating it as a “trick” will allow the handstand to create a framework for movement and exploration, rather than as a matter of success and failure.  In this way we want to utilize the balancing with a more architectural approach to the space.

The skillset of the handbalancing body will be challenged in new and experimental ways with focus on cooperation and spatial constellations. The organization of bodies that in practice posses “4 legs”, have the potential to transform from performers moving in space, into “scenography” with their powerful balancing capacities. Constantly reorganizing entities, who embody the power and control of the discipline, but who are now also using each other to shape the space.

Wald is a collaborative creation featuring 6 handbalancers;  Mikael Kristiansen, Sunniva Byvard, Isak Arvidsson, Matt Pasquet, Imogen Huzel and Lisa Angberg.

Supported by

Odense Municipality Danish arts council