But this summer, a new kind of spectacle is set to wipe these preconceptions from the artistic landscape, leaving behind only seven hypnotic, beguiling, magnetic performers.
We’re talking about Gravity and Other Myths, a troupe from Australia whose unique close-up acrobatic show A Simple Space has been booked for a six-week season until July 6 at the Udderbelly Festival on the South Bank, having astounded Fringe audiences in both hemispheres in 2013.
The simple space in question is a 6.5m x 4m black mat with seats on three sides set mere inches away from the cast and the action. It’s all very intimate and pleasant and touchy-feely and sounds rather nice. But, particular moments in Gravity and other Myths are near-suicidal, terrifying and just plain dangerous.
The seven performers (five men and two women) stack themselves into towers, turn themselves into human skipping ropes, sling each other into the rafters, somersault and tumble on the spot, invite the audience to pelt them with brightly-coloured plastic balls, and wind their bodies into improbably bone-bending counter-balanced shapes and structures which defy logic, belief and human morphology.
When: Until July 6
Performance times: Tuesday – Friday: 7.30pm, Saturday: 2.30pm and 6pm, Sunday: 6pm
Where: Udderbelly Festival, Jubilee Gardens, off Belvedere Road, London, SE1 8XX
Tickets range from £12.50 – £18. To book, click here