Preview: Lactic Acid, Bloomsbury Theatre, London

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The Independent Culture

Lactic acid is the chemical that is released into the bloodstream after physical exertion, due to lack of oxygen; only rest and oxygen can stop the consequent pain. The company's artistic director, Abigail Yeates, explains that this process supplies the narrative for the movements and acrobatics in the show: a roller-coaster of exhilaration and physical dejection using aerial choreography.

The performers, who are selected from across the globe, come together to produce a show of power and grace, and the awe-inspiring spectacle of the human body being driven to its physical limits. "Many of the performers started out as competitive gymnasts and then chose to work in circus as they wanted to use their skills in a more expressive way, rather than in a competitive one," saysYeates.

The show is made up of some of the traditional circus acts, such as the high bar and juggling, but then these acts are fused with modern dance and bright colours. Yeates says: "The show is not about concentrating on the tricks but about interrogating the physical capabilities of both circus and dance."

This fusion allows the performers to combine many different techniques to make a truly original spectacle.

All of the acrobatics and dancing will be done to a vibrant soundtrack of electronic music by Mira Calix, and throughout the show, a bright light will be shone on the stage to symbolise the human body as a chemical factory, just in case the audience forgets the main theme of Lactic Acid.

Yeates sums up this spectacular show thus: "It is about fusion, cohesion and completeness."

7 to 17 September, except Sunday and Monday (020-7388 8822)

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