W.A. Symphony Orchestra
Perth Concert Hall
reviewed by Neville Cohn
In more than thirty years of attending WASO concerts, many of them novel and unexpected, I had not encountered anything remotely like the astonishing and often delightful goings-on of an unforgettable excursion into a circus world.
With the orchestra positioned far back on stage, the latter significantly expanded into the auditorium, conductor Guy Noble presided over events with a steady and reliable beat.
A very clever lighting design simulated the interior of a circus tent.
Nerves of steel, absolute confidence in one’s physical ability to shimmy up and down ropes and silks while placing what must surely be immense strain on muscles and ligaments, the circus acrobats took the audience into an unforgettable world of grace, daring – and danger.
This was a catalogue of acrobatic marvels from Christine van Loo doing wonders with aerial silks as we listened to the eerily ghostly measures of Saint Saens’ Danse Macabre to two heavily muscled blokes – Jaroslaw Marciniak and Dariusz Wronski – definitely not the sort you’d want to get into an argument with. They demonstrated stunning control of hand balancing to the accompaniment of Sibelius’ Finlandia.
Elena Tsarkova was a frankly brilliant contortionist in a waltz from Khachaturian’s Masquerade And she was joined by her husband Vladimir Tsarkov in a delightful offering to music from Tchaikowsky’s Swan Lake. As a duo, they astonished and intrigued in a series of extraordinarily rapid costume changes. This, too, brought the house down.
In his own right, Tsarkov was the focus of gleeful laughter in linking offerings that were an hilariously comic delight, not least due to a face that seemed capable of registering a seemingly endless range of expressions. Tsarkov is also a first rate juggler.
A muscled Vitalii Buza flew through the upper reaches of the venue’s space as if jet propelled.
This was a WASO concert to relish – and for the very best reasons.