Electronic song

Boom review – powerful and human circus collaboration | Edinburgh Festival 2022

Jhere’s something special about Boom. In March 2022, young artists from the Cirk La Putyka ensemble in Prague and the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Circus and Variety Arts met for the first time after the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Boom transforms this life-changing situation into an effervescent display of acrobatic collaboration that never loses sight of a shared humanity.

The show opens with the daily life of these Gen Z artists in Prague. Wearing huge transparent heads, they compulsively glide left and right under a pale gray light. Dizzying aerial towers communicate the relentless nature of rolling hashtags and constant selfies. These well-made, if not too original, sketches of a banal, somewhat thoughtless life, stop when the Ukrainian artists arrive piled up in large overcoats. There is a painful maturity in the way all of the young performers maintain the physical and emotional space between themselves, acknowledging the ever-present and brutal brutality of war.

Maintaining the emotional space between them… Boom. Photograph: Jane Barlow/PA

From there, a dance of curiosity unfolds as performers share their personalities, stories, and love of the circus. The choreography is done with sensitivity and agility. Different circus acts follow one another and inspire each other: the Cyr wheel meets the hoops, the acrobats ricochet in a shared momentum.

Everything is lit up in a cool, neon gaze, while the manipulation of live electronic music adds a cohesive frame to the ongoing evolution of awesome stuff, spoken testimonials, traditional songs and imagery.

It’s not the tightest show – it loses its footing towards the end and doesn’t evolve from individual interactions into a larger ensemble piece. But he is inspiring in his youthful energy, talent and honesty.