Highly entertaining for all ages, this urban circus is the dream of artistic director and percussionist Gene Peterson. Combining the talents, performance skills and ‘wow-factor’ of seven internationally acclaimed artists, Peterson creates a fascinating world, which explores each performer’s chosen art form in a dazzlingly intimate setting.
360 signifies ‘revolution’. Not only is it a contemporary transformation of traditional circus acts, all the artists spin in one way or another. Whether they are mixing a tune, headspinning, backflipping, creating magic with the roue Cyr wheel, twirling drum sticks, demonstrating awe-inspiring control of a BMX, or juggling five basketballs at one time, their skills and professionalism are apparent from the second they appear on stage.
Currently in its seventh year, this performance at Bunjil Place was the first show of their 2019 World Tour. The Australian component features 100 shows in 114 days; a crazy schedule which typifies the Allstars’ commitment and passion. With three new artists in the line-up, they share a strong dynamic, laughing, joking and sharing each other’s enthusiasm. It was obvious that the performers thrive on audience feedback as they interacted with and hyped up the enthralled spectators.
Incredible control and technique are displayed by BMX Flatlander Peter Sore as he showcases his skills and tricks. Utilising all the stage space, he excites the audience as he moves from painstakingly slow rotations to crazy, fast spins. Background to his act, the video component and lighting artistry brings the ‘street’ to the stage, setting the scene for deeper exploration of the hip hop genre.
This leads into the epic battle of the break dancers where the incredible footwork and head spin abilities of Bboy Sette are offset against the energetic power moves and jaw-dropping backflips of Bboy Leerok. Cleverly themed to represent an old-style video game, this part of the show symbolises the connection of the performers to each other and their art. Their interaction is humorous and enjoyable, drawing the audience into their competition as they clap and cheer for their favourite artist.
The live music created by New Zealand loop artist MC Beau Monga transitions from poetic lyrics to funky hip hop, culminating in the ultimate showcase of his amazing beatbox skills. Fascinated, the audience rocks along with the music as he, and Peterson on the drums, create the mood and atmosphere of the show. Throughout the entire performance, the synchronicity of the artists, music, video and lighting, with the additional vocals and beats of Monga and Peterson, create a complete and compelling experience.
Bavo Delbeke, the Belgian basketball freestyle champion, is the definite favourite of the kids. He immediately captures the attention of the audience both with his clear enjoyment and the ‘big red button’ he is constantly dared to push. His ability to juggle, spin and dribble up to five basketballs at a time signify both a dedication to his art and a love of entertainment. In the words of a young audience member, ‘That was awesome. My face was in shock the whole time.’
In a change of pace, Rowan Thomas and his roue Cyr perform an ethereal piece reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil. He and his wheel possess an almost symbiotic relationship, moving both together and separately, but always appearing to be connected. His strength and control is juxtaposed with an obvious reverence for the roue Cyr as his artistry and grace flow across the stage.
The 360 Allstars are masters of their chosen art form. They have come together from all over the world, combining their individual talents and love of performing to bring us a show like no other. The finale is hilariously astounding as they cross over roles, challenging themselves to attempt each other’s skills. Pure enjoyment is created from the mastery of complex talents and enhanced by the artists’ personalities and interactions lighting up the stage, leaving the audience cheering, clapping and begging for more. Fabulous fun for the whole family – this is one show that should not be missed.
For dates and locations of Australian performances, see www.onyx-productions.com/360allstars/