Caught in the Act: A New (st) age of nudity?
Titillation is nothing new. The Victorians - that fine ‘bling’ generation- made it popular by repression. The more they covered over their piano legs, the more imaginings they had about the naked form. Austen and Les Brontes would have been pedestrian, to say the least, without all that seething rudeness which lies beneath. There is so much metaphor in the average Victorian novel that one can hardly find the plot, sometimes (whoops! There’s another, missus).
In the words of Cockney Rebel- we’ve had it all. Naked art, naked theatre (I was banned from seeing ‘Hair’ as a teenager),the furore when nudist beaches were first launched, naked holiday camps,etc...However...now here’s a thing….a naked circus? I loathed and hated the traditional circus as a child. Loud, noisy, animals being trivialized, a stupid man in a stupid suit, trying to make us laugh and always in a cold tent (essential point, for what follows). No redeeming features, whatsoever - you name it, I disliked it. Pretend water ‘thrown’ over the audience, bang-bang cars which ‘pretended’ to fall apart. I longed for the lions to break free and eat their trainers, and often fantasized about sneaking back to the heath in the dead of night, to release the animals.
So then, ‘tis with more than a passing interest that I came across an Eastern European circus with ‘a difference’. It puts a twist on the word ‘swinging’ trapeze, I can tell you....The tent is still cold, so the performers’ private parts provide their own, mini-entertainment feature. Depending on your interest, the male parts contracted, whilst the female nipples expanded. I think Mother Nature deserves a round of applause for that one? It was a strange experience, overall. One did, actually, acclimatize to the nudity, and it ceased to be a novelty, but then something would bring the issue back into focus. The very nakedness added a whole new dimension to the, previously described, traditional and rather tedious acts. Merely running around the tent, at speed was amusing. The human body, if not restrained in hosiery, or lycra is apt to dance to its own momentum.
The main corpus may be heading in one direction, but the other moving parts have other routes in mind. And that trapeze? In normal life (I apologise if you find this an assumption), one rarely sees the naked human form upside down, horizontal, or dangling from a swing, again, at speed, then flying through the air - not unless you work for a very progressive organisation. Even the liberal application of talcum powder attracted attention. Naked clowns is, of course, the antidote to the scary-clown problem. If you see them, wearing only a ruff and their makeup, they are reduced in power, as anyone would be. I took the opportunity to throw a handful of sawdust into the groin of a passing clown- payback for all those years of terrorizing small children (and, currently, grown ups), let’s hope the itching and chaffing lasted a good, long time.
So, do try to catch the show if you can. You can find the group on the following link:
...and pay special attention to the acronym, too…..Happy April!