Raw and personal, She Is Strong is the perfect example of why we all ought to be supporting local, independent shows at Fringe World Festival.
It’s only natural that we, as an audience, would want to be constantly dazzled over the season. However, it’s shows like She is Strong that remind us that art doesn’t need to be fast-paced or extravagantly produced in order to be deemed beautiful.
A multimodal performance, She Is Strong combines the evocative photography of Rachel Collier and the multi-award-winning Natural Wings troupe, who merge the best of aerial arts, circus and dance. Before even stepping foot into The Art Room at Girls School, photographic prints of the three performers were circulated around to give us a taste of what was to come.
In what was an intimate setup, the audience was positioned right up near the stage with warm lighting, a mini photographic exhibition and a free-standing aerial rig in full view. If you had thought that an aerial circus performance was exactly what you were getting that night, you’d be wrong.
In fact, what’s admirable about She Is Strong is that it is so much more than just a show of physical talent; it’s three-dimensional. With a deep focus on storytelling, it revolved around the vulnerabilities and experiences of each performer. Their soliloquies delved into topics like the post-partum condition, injury and tragedy – all of which was accompanied by a symbolic show of acrobatic strength and breath work to mirror their emotional journeys.
After telling each of their own stories, all three performers came together as one. All superficiality was stripped away and a sense of sisterhood prevailed as the trio took turns uplifting each other (both figuratively and literally) on the swinging dance trapeze. In between moments of awe from the audience, there was bated breath as multiple tricks on the doubles trapeze appeared utterly gravity-defying.
All in all, it was a thought-provoking hour – as well as an honour to have Rachel Collier Photography and the women behind Natural Wings fuse and share their craft with us. For those looking to broaden their perspective and admire the aerial arts this Fringe World Festival season, She Is Strong is simply the show you need to see.
WHERE: the art room at girls school
WHEN: 16TH – 24TH JANUARY 2021
TIME: 6:50 PM
Image credits from the Fringe World event