Review: Skyward (Republic of Song & Vulcana)

Republic of Song’s shimmering, soaring fusion of circus and song will give you goosebumps.

Supported by Vulcana, Skyward combined several art forms – song, circus, and photo/videography – into a meditation on mindfulness that is quite cathartic in its beauty. Time lapse photography by Michael Owen was interspersed with song and aerial circus choreography to reflect on the principles and experiences of mindfulness, structured into day, sunset, night, and dawn.

Georgia-Elizabeth Bale, with Stefanie Awiszus as counterweight, performed in a variety of aerial apparatus – silks, hoop, and harness – with incredible strength, grace, and agility. She was also an excellent physical storyteller, bringing a range of emotion to her work. The final piece, in particular, gave me goosebumps, and her change into a costume glittering with fairylights was definitely a thrill.

Skyward included a soothing soundtrack of music by Copland, Barber, Michael Nyman, Andre Previn and Arvo Pärt, performed by John Woods on piano and Toby Saltwell on cello. Soprano Jo Willans’ clear voice rang out through the space, and she briefly joined Bale in a hoop of her own while she sang, becoming a more active part of the storytelling.

Skyward artfully combines imagery, music, and motion to create a performance that is both contemplative and uplifting.

Review of May 11 performance, by Elise Lawrence

Republic of Song will perform Skyward at the Stores Building, Brisbane Powerhouse on May 11 & 12. Read more and book tickets on the event page.


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