“Take Back Control!” might well have been the slogan for this astonishing performer. But she had no need to take it back, for she had never lost it. Nathalie is petite, vivacious and eloquent. She can also do amazing things when perched upside down on her hands. Handstands are what she does for a living, and as she told the audience at this small North London venue, it is like washing the dishes – she does them every day. But she also aspires to be a Super Hero. And after watching her display of apparently superhuman strength and stamina, I should say she has attained that status!
In this miniature circus, Nathalie’s physical feats are transposed to a large screen by her partner, Mark, a digital whizz who uses computer generated imagery to explore and illustrate what is happening to Nathalie’s body while it is pushing itself to the limits of what is possible. This is accompanied by an atmospheric soundtrack which itself may well be computer generated. It is also accompanied by a commentary from Nathalie herself, which to an old cynic like me sounded like New Age psychobabble. But don’t let that put you off! The combination of Nathalie’s physical presence, with its preposterous prowess, and her digital avatar, which reveals the emotional and spiritual commitment behind this display, makes for an unusual, and possibly unique, event.
If you have an hour to spare (for this is all the show takes), do go and see it when it travels to Bristol, Bath, Newcastle and Sheffield in the coming months.