Sol Niger


Through Jan. 26th. Tickets are $25, pay what you can on Wednesday; call 401-9376 or visit
Project Artaud Theatre, 450 Florida (at 17th St.), S.F.

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There is so much that is creatively intriguing and theatrically adventurous about Circo Zero's circus performance that you wish in the end it affected you more than it does. There is certainly plenty of acrobatic talent onstage, with several potent images to flesh out the central conceit of the body as a metaphorical statement on terror, politics, and injustice in our modern age. The sight of Brett Womack spinning high above, powered by his own strength while also trapped in a black hood, is both stunning to behold and evocative of the tension between awesome world power and blind rage, greed, and fear. Yet too many moments in the 90-minute show fizzle without ever making such a visceral impact. Part of the problem is the long time often taken to play out images that never surprise us beyond their first few moments. The cavernous performance space also doesn't help, obscuring the fine details and keeping us literally distanced from the spectacle. The skill and commitment of the performers is never in doubt, yet the ability to make us experience the connection between their beautiful show and the ugliness of our world is just beyond their grasp.

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