Blink | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Blink 

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BLINK. Unlike the Flying Karamazov Brothers, whose gonzo antics epitomize juggling acts to most Americans, Blink dispenses with the patter early on, instead defying the laws of gravity and anatomy with the serene solemnity of Sufi priests. Though the trunk carried onstage must be far too small to hold any of these three young men from Maine, one of them nevertheless climbs out of it. A unicycle rider skips rope, using his vehicle's wheel like the spring on a pogo stick. And is that juggler really keeping five balls in the air while lying on his back, and did the unicyclist really just vault over his supine body?

Keeping their faces deliberately impassive to present no distraction from their astonishingly agile display, Blink combine dance, gymnastics, contortionism (ever see an adult male squeeze his whole body through a coat hanger?), baton twirling, and, of course, juggling--done individually, in unison, and in relays, in the kinetic equivalent of counterpoint, and as a timekeeper while the jugglers twist themselves into intricate Pilobolus knots. "'Impossible' is an extremely limiting word," Morten Hansen announces at the start of the show, before he, Fritz Grobe, and Jay Gilligan proceed to test the word's boundaries. Test the word's boundaries yourself: if you don't see anything else in this year's Fringe festival, see this act.

--Mary Shen Barnidge

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