‘Soka Tira Osoa’, by Cie Basinga

Review from: Parvis de la Cathedrale, CIRCa Festival, Auch; 27th October 2022

This review was written as part of a module on the BA Circus degree at SKH. You can read more student reviews from CIRCa here.

Review written for circus enthusiasts, funambulism fans and people who might have never seen circus but who still might consider taking a chance and go enjoy this cultural experience aimed for each and everyone.

As a wire walking student this show is an obvious choice to attend to. Yet this 40 minute
piece combining funambulism and live music clearly doesn’t only appeal to circus fans. As I
arrive at the show venue I see the front square of the cathedral being already filled with
crowds from children to elderly. The late autumn weather is perfect for an outdoor show and
the cathedral creates quite an imposing scenery for what is about to happen.

“Soka Tira Osoa” can be roughly translated in “pulling the rope” referring to an old traditional
game, where two teams are pulling the ends of a rope, each trying to get the other one to
cross a line drawn in the middle. Ropes, wires and pulling are in the centre of this piece by
company called Cie Basinga. Yet the competing aspect is left behind and instead turned into
interactive group work between the artists and the audience. Like a slowly awakening
monster, the huge wire walking structure rises up standing with the help of the spectators
pulling strings attached to the rigging system. The feeling of togetherness is there and I bet
that a memory of holding the red rope will maintain for long in the minds of the little children
from the front row.

Even if at first place my wish is to witness some inspirational wire walking technique, happily
I get to see that this part is only the cherry on top. The show is a complete circle from
build up to build down, all accompanied by strong and metallic rock sounds played live by
three musicians. Having that said, the goal doesn’t seem to be a drawing of a clear story line
but rather being true to the thematics such as consistency, pushing and pulling, threads and
lines, and community.

Then the part we’ve all been looking for, the moment that gives the reason for the enormous
structure, Tatiana-Mosio Bongonga starts her dance on her 26-meter wire in four
meters height. She does that with such confidence and grace that there is no need for the
audience to hold their breath for stress. For an experienced wire walking spectator no big
surprises but yet admirable doubtless calmness.

Once Bongonga is done with her sequence, the huge structure monster can start its
settle down. Just like in the beginning and in all parts throughout the show, with a calm
constancy and help from the audience slowly letting loose of the strings, together.

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