SIRO-A

Leicester Square Theatre, Friday 1February – Monday 22 April 2013

Review by Michael Sullivan

SIRO-A are a six member group originally from Sendai who have been based at Leicester Square theatre since the 1st of February and will finish on the 22nd of April. They first started performing in 2005 and since then they have won the 2011 ‘Spirit of the Fringe’ award at the Edinburgh Festival 2011. Their unusual performance can only be described as an amazing blend of dance, music and technology, as the boundaries between different genres become increasingly blurred SIRO-A are at the forefront of a new wave of performers.

The small theatre in Leicester Square filled up surprisingly fast as the audience sat down in expectation of seeing something very different to other mainstream theatres, as we waited we were entertained by one of the cast members using a camera on the audience members and putting funny images over the screen image. The following hour passed by far too quickly as these well practised performers flawlessly pulled off a show which is amusing and brilliant. Dancing is given a new perspective as although the dancing itself is very good, the mixture with technology is astounding as it is perfectly timed with special effects. A notable example is the Peacock Dance which incorporates once dancer with multiple colour projections of his same movements on the screen behind him. A personal favourite is a dance performance by two of the cast members using suits covered in lights.

Throughout the show there are touches of comedy, such as cast member Abe Toshinori’s personal history being presented via the medium of photos which quickly tell us everything about him and the use of shadow puppetry to show a cast member having trouble with a misbehaving ball with an unpleasant end for the cast member. The use of shadow puppetry is prevalent in the show in order to allow multiple things to happen at the same time, as demonstrated in one section where one cast member is able to create an amazing visual display of his shadows doing several things and creating music at the same time.

SIRO-A has proven to be very popular, and seeing parts of their performance on the internet does not do justice to experiencing the actual thing or seeing it for yourself.  It is a visual splendour complimented by technological prowess and musical talent.

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