The show, called Human, is about the little moments of life that shape us. The stage is set with a trapeze, circus rope and a set of drums that the performers use to tell stories of their lives alongside dance, original music and film.
Music and binaural sound are played to the audience through silent disco headphones. The performances are relaxed, sign language-interpreted, captioned and audio described.
Extraordinary Bodies is a collaboration between Cirque Bijou and Diverse City, who have worked together with disabled and non-disabled artists. Their work “pushes the boundaries of music, film, circus and theatre”.
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Four performers tell their tales, from childhood to the last two years. They share their stories of uncertainty about times of big decisions and of getting through things together through the visual spectacle of circus.
A brave character called Circus arrives in the show, interrupting the performers as she has fallen on hard times. Her poetry weaves through the show, becoming part of the storytelling. The show is written by Hattie Naylor and the live score is by Ted Barnes.
Performing artists Tilly Lee-Kronick and Jonny Leitch combine wheelchair dance, floor work on hands and new aerial doubles choreography.
Jonny said: “The relationship and artistry I have with Tilly has always stemmed from us exploring new or wacky ideas on the trapeze or other circus equipment.
“Human gets to the heart of how we are all feeling right now and I can't wait to share it.”
Claire Hodgson, artistic director of Extraordinary Bodies said: “With Extraordinary Bodies, we can experiment and develop work that is genre-defying as well as gravity-defying.”
“Extraordinary Bodies had such a wonderful time when they last visited Sunderland performing at The Tall Ships Festival in 2018, that we have forged a great partnership which will see them return to Sunderland.”
Human starts at 7.30pm on Saturday, May 14 with tickets from £11. Visit www.thefirestation.org.uk.