IMA is classy stuff. Billed as immersive circus, you’ll find the show at the Murrayfield Ice Rink. Hailing from Budapest, leading contemporary circus company Recirquel have created an on-site installation to house their brand new work, premiering at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Arrive early to give yourself plenty of time in the waiting area – it’s dressed so beautifully that it’s a meditation in itself. There’s an optional scene-setting task that invites you into the show’s theme and serves as a superb selfie opportunity if that’s your thing. You’re ushered into the performance space and invited to take a seat – beanbags or low stools – and the performance begins.
IMA is circus first and foremost but it’s also physical theatre, visual theatre, and contemporary dance, and it’s spectacularly theatrical. There’s a single performer, shrouded in white robes, motionless on a circular pool of black, reflective as a mirror, spotlit amidst the velvet black performance space. She approaches the audience in silent supplication. After a time, she is elevated to soar above us in the atmosphere, a mid-air ballet of exquisite strength and artistry. Ultimately, this is an aerial show. The performer uses only a rope and is raised, lowered and circles the space, performing breathtaking feats alongside a soaring soundtrack.
Director / choreographer Bence Vági worked with his team to create a performance space inspired by the starry sky over the desert and as the performance unfolds, this space – a sensory feast of sound and light – is transformed into an infinite universe. The narrative, if there is one, matters less than the majestic spectacle but you could speculate about man’s impotence in the face of the vastness of the universe or our quest for meaning in an unforgiving world. But you could just sit back and drink in 35 minutes of exquisite artistry in a purpose-built immersive space that’s located on our doorstep for the next fortnight. Come and forget for a minute that people can’t fly.
IMA runs until Sun 27 Aug 2023 at Assembly Murrayfield Ice Rink at various times