‘We find our talent in unusual ways’: the revolutionary circus of Extraordinary Bodies

On a bare black stage, Jonny Leitch is remembering an act of kindness: a janitor offering him a stick of gum while he sat in a hospital waiting room. As Leitch’s recorded voice narrates the story, a black loop appears suspended from the air and he hoists himself from his wheelchair into it, performing a graceful, balletic arc high above it.

This is one of the scenes that makes up Human, the latest production from integrated circus company Extraordinary Bodies. Devised over the past year with a cast of disabled and non-disabled performers, Human combines circus skills with digital recordings to illustrate formative moments in the company members’ lives – from first kisses to personal traumas and life in lockdown. The result is a polyphony of experiences told through speech, song and movement, centring each tale in the nuances of human life.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 05/10/21]