Urban is showing at the Courier-Mail Piazza at Southbank in Brisbane until September 27. It can easily be combined with the impressive city of lights show on the nearby Brisbane River for a night out in the city.
Urban is showing at the Courier-Mail Piazza at Southbank in Brisbane until September 27. It can easily be combined with the impressive city of lights show on the nearby Brisbane River for a night out in the city. Annemone Taake

Urban explosion of energy and high-flying stunts

THE explosion of energy in the opening moments of Urban barely ceases for the 75 minutes that follow.

You hold your breath as these colombianos hombres fuertes calientes (hot, strong Colombian men) perform high-flying stunt after trick after street dance.

Their superior acrobatic skills move from high-flying somersaults from see-saws to tight rope dancing and then to spectacular aerial trapeze manoeuvres from the girls.

Women fly through the air towards the audience with only the strength of their legs keeping them attached to seemingly flimsy pieces of material.

One man walks a scarily long diagonal highwire without a net.

It is edge of the seat stuff.

They lack the grace of Cirque du Soleil but the earthy grunt of these circus showmen - and women - has its own appeal.

Even when they make mistakes - surprisingly regularly - you can not be sure they have because they immediately make it comedic.

And the slip-ups make them more human to the rest of us.

While not exhibiting their acrobatic prowess, the crew sings in Spanish to funky reggaeton and hip-hop beats, giving the performance an authentic South American feel.

The huge chunk of the audience clearly gets all the jokes in Spanish but most of the stories are translated on the screen behind for those who do not.

It is hard not to stare (drool) at the hardened six-packs on both the boys and the girls - which they play on with a cheeky arrogance.

The street fighting and tough bravado the cast exhibits reveals the city of violence where the cast grew up, a city where dance and music help them escape from every day life.

You can imagine the cast practising their craft on the back blocks of Colombia's second largest city, Cali.

The show's narrative shares the tough life - including homelessness, gang crime and poverty - based on the performers' own experiences.

While the hip-hop moves were smooth, the cast was rarely in sync.

Perhaps this lack of finesse takes off some of the gleam, but the sheer bravery in attempting the acts many of us would never dare is worth seeing.



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