THE NEXT LEVEL

This an article from the book: The Wonder of Street theater

We’ve had the first concept for Globe for several years without doing anything with it. It was about the characters Carlson and Pipi and the imagination of a child as an instrument to fly. They were threatened by the elders who, over the years, had lost their devotion to simplicity and whose superiors talked them into trying to break the children’s imaginative powers. A queen with her army, trying to take away the freedom of others, was part of the plot as well. We were already in the process of building flying cars and making the costumes. And then we saw ‘the globe’

Two half festival tents that, when put together, form a huge sphere. 

A while back we had already noticed this enormous structure and as surely as Hesther Melief knew she wanted to use it, so much hesitation was found in Tonny Aerts. No performance would be able to break free from this dominant object and, most likely, the interactive character that made the Close-Act plays so special would get lost if the whole interaction was taking place inside this ball. Last but not least, for a company that had to operate on a budget without any grants or subsidies, it would be much too expensive to produce. Yet we couldn’t quite let it go.

What if we would use part of the sphere as a projection screen, use stilt walkers on the outside of the sphere as well, use a crane to fly actors around the globe, and rig actors and musician both in AND outside the globe? It turned into a performance with a new dimension for us: aerial acts.

We are kind of a circus family and we want to move on together. So, we made a very conscious decision to teach our players this new discipline and develop the groups’ talents this way. The expertise for this new discipline came from Bencha Theater, headed by Rachel Melief and Dimiter Simeonov.

Rachel “sister of Close-Act founder Hesther Melief” and Dimiter were very familiar with the work of Close-Act and together we investigated the options for moving in and outside of the globe. We already had quite a multi-disciplinary group of talent, but this pushed it to a whole new level. 

All of these dimensions you can find back in Globe and this is what makes the act so fun and special. It brings together dance, vocals, percussion, play and acrobatics, and when you mix these all up, you create a universal language that can express anything you want to say.

In our shows we always leave room for the audience to use their own imagination and interpretation of the story. The costumes have a visual expression in themselves as well, so there is no more need for ‘real’ language. The characters visualize the purity and freedom of children and the controlled behaviour off businessmen. 

If you believe you can fly – you will!
All you need is your inner-child’s power of imagination.