2016 Capital Fringe Review: ‘Kick Before You Drown’

A solid show with impressive acrobatics, Kick Before You Drown presents Cirque which will easily please fans of the genre.

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It is important to note that Kick Before You Drown is as different from a traditional three-ring experience as a show can be while still being “circus.” The show presents a series of acrobatic routines, with no sounds save music, in order to symbolically examine the lives of six people who “desire to be desired.” Think modern dance except the performers are dancing in the air or while spinning in a German wheel.

The show has a skillful foundation in its acrobatics. There are a variety of routines done with various techniques, but the breathtaking quality of superior acrobatics is present throughout the show, from Daniel Patrick’s impressive handbalancing to Jessica John’s fluid rope work. The standout routines of the show are Eliana Dunlap’s German wheel routines, which deliver on the show’s promise to be sexy with a choreography which seems to bring a pinup poster to life, and the dual routines, which truly bring the show to life.

Kick Before You Drown is more than simply acrobatics. It portrays the characters’ struggle with desire and their relationships. This is most clear during the parts of the show with multiple performers, where they can play off each other and give the show’s message more depth. This distinguishes it from other acrobatics shows. This was evidenced by the several small interactions during the transitions, which were essential in establishing the show’s character, and by the dual routines, performed by Celeste Bliss and Joshua Handal on trapeze and Katie Embser and Handal on rope and Lyra (an aerial hoop). These routines combined the technical skill of the acrobatics with the relationship building of characters’ interactions to provide the heart of the show.

Kick Before You Drown is an excellent example of the genre of contemporary circus. If you’re a fan of abstract theater or simply want to see sexy acrobatics, this show will fulfill your desire.

Kick Before You Drown is playing through July 14, 2016 at Atlas Performing Arts Center -1333 H Street, NE, in Washington, DC. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111, or purchase them online.

The show is recommended for adults only. Contains nudity.

Check other reviews and show previews on DCMetroTheaterArts’ 2016 Capital Fringe Page.

2016 Capital Fringe Preview #36: Kick Before You Drown by Jessica John



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