Assembly Rooms – Bijou
Aug 13-18, 20-24 (23:10)

Joanna Vymeris, creator of 2016’s sell out show Alice in Wonderland has returned with Tarot. Performed by The Feathers of Daedalus, an eclectic troupe of nomadic acrobatics and aerial artists and a live band in a decadent 14 metre diameter Spiegel tent. The group pride themselves as a contemporary circus company adapting surreal stories through the magical medium of circus.


Tarot has an unusual but stimulating concept, the audience selects on-stage tarot cards then the cast perform choreography based on Death, The Emperor, The Chariot etc. With 22 card options, only six cards are drawn each night, every show promises to be different, while the acrobats and musicians never know how the ‘roulette’ show could evolve. Each card-oriented choreography leads to a distinctive interpretation of a chosen card’s characteristics. Either through escalated intensity or a more fragile approach, the casts overall effort portrayed a sense of esotericism adorned with humour that is reflected the old Tarot-reading art. Some circus compositions shared elements from Dead Can Dance, as they evoked a raw ritual-like visual ambiance. Demanding and creative manoeuvres, the Tarot choreographies maintained their atmospheric vibe and forced the audience to focus on certain figures/aspects at all times.

The idea came to me when I had my cards read for the fist time in New Orleans last autumn. I fell in love with the world of Tarot. The imagery of the cards, the history, the stories and the mystery. I returned to London and met with the female lead of my previous show Coppelia who is a clairvoyant. I ran the idea past her of trying to merge live audience readings with circus and she was excited. Joanna Vymeris Read the full interview
One of the cast’s strongest aspects was keeping the audience engaged, but choreography / spoken / music aside, the dual nature of interaction with the audience was crucial. An intriguing factor was the multifaceted eye contact the members of the cast maintained with the audience. Pierced and static or panoramic and dynamic, the eye contact was a really successful form of silent interaction that kept the audience magnetised. The music was not just secondary background to show, it was a core characteristic of everything that unfolded before our eyes. The live jazz soul-oriented band enriched the show by leading the artists dance. Poetic, but non verbose, humorous, but atmospheric at all times, ethereal or intense, Tarot is a soulful and playful journey that adjusts the past at the present and vice versa without feeling pretentious or forced.
Sarah Lewis


Assembly Rooms – Bijou

Aug 9-18, 20-24 (23.10)



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