Like thoughts and ideas, acrobats radiate across the stage, they shout down each other, obstruct their ways, collide, while disturbing one another. This is the way Rosťa Novák, the ringmaster of Cirk La Putyka, adapted the view into the head of a child diagnosed with ADHD. Too many perceptions, the inability to distinguish their importance, the inability to concentrate.
Much can be hidden under the ADHD label; the diagnosis may be a curse or a mere excuse. However, Rosťa Novák set a goal to portray the inner state he has been fighting in his head as something, which can be a life advantage. He says that there would not probably be any Cirk La Putyka or cultural space Jatka78 without ADHD due to the fact he felt the need to ventilate his hyperactivity in sport and arts.
But back to the performance. Jatka78 hosts a new production, in which Cirk La Putyka has pushed the limits of contemporary dance. Novák has been advocating the viewing of contemporary circus as more than idea-free bustle of acrobats and a showcase of technique.
Well, he managed to achieve it in ADHD, like in Black Black Woods before. Both productions, which are very different in all other aspects, share rising from the bottom of the heart, they are sincere, thus fully authentic. ADHD clearly shows it was a matter of the heart for Novák and he, as a director, gave his all in the project. Moreover, he surrounded himself with a great team.
The international company of eight acrobats is remarkably compact, it emanates professional and human understanding. The solo performances – juggling with balls, acrobatics with a hoop, on a pole, and, actually, on hair as well – are not especially interesting, but the atmosphere and enthusiasm of the participants make it an original show.
The strong part of ADHD is Jan Balcar’s music. It starts with a brisk rhythm at the beginning and helps viewers to immerse in child’s mind, in which ideas run around like at a funfair. They play for the lack of concentration, dyslexia, and the effort to let off unrestrained energy. The situation portraying dyslexia, when one of the acrobats fights the letters, in order to create simple words by juggling, ranks among the best viewers can experience at the hyperactive evening.
A moment, when beautiful singing of one of the acrobats is interrupted by the loud “Fuck you!” said by another acrobat, is intriguing as well. The director managed to balance switches between wild and relaxed parts of the production in as brilliant a way as acrobats on the revolving stage at the appeasing end.
On the other hand, the announced cooperation with the young fashion designer Petra Ptáčková did not attract expected attention, costumes give an interchangeable impression. Insertion of authentic quotes by hyperactive children, their parents and words by Novák does not seem to be a good idea, yet it benefits from sensitive incorporation. Speeches on the stage do not slow down what is going on, and they fit into the framework.
ADHD ranks among the best Cirk La Putyka has created so far: it offers an interesting topic with an overlap and still does not refuse to employ the very classic acrobatics. Novák and his team have managed to make an attractive production with an interesting topic and a dutiful shape, which have the potential to break through internationally.
Author: Tomáš Šťástka