The Victoria Theatre Association invites you to tumble down the dark corridors of the human psyche on April 12 and 13 when it presents PSY, a wild commingling of acrobatics and psychology by the same company that brought last season’s successful Traces.
(NOTE: We’ll stop here and reiterate that this article is not about Psy, the Korean “Gangnam Style” superstar, nor will he be performing in Dayton this month.)
Written and staged by Shana Carroll (who also staged the Cirque du Soleil performance at the 2012 Academy Awards), PSY features an 11-member cast displaying inspired acts based on psychological disorders, beginning in therapy sessions that jump off the couch and into the air in a combination of acrobatics, circus acts, and street dance. House music, obsessive-compulsive disorder, trapeze work–PSY runs the whole gamut. The Boston Herald said, “Watching PSY is like having the front-row seat to someone’s fever dream. … [It] raises the bar on what cirque nouveau can do — not just physically but emotionally.”
An audience favorite on the show’s tour is Olga Kosova, who plays Suzi, a young woman with anger management issues and perform’s two of the evening’s most dangerous acts involving throwing knives and a dazzling aerial rope routine with no visible safety structures.
Kosova, born in Kiev and raised mostly in the U.S., began in rhythmic gymnastics before transitioning into aerial rope and Chinese acrobatics training with Master Lu Yi at San Francisco’s Circus Center, and performed with several circus and acrobatics groups before training at the National Circus School in Montreal.
“Suzi has intermittent explosive disorder,” Kosova said. “That disorder is characterized by anger management issues and are destructive, but after their rage episodes, they’re usually very apologetic and embarrassed. Suzi’s a little angry and hyperactive, and has a very strong personality. She’s not destructive in the show, but does get very, very angry. I try to find the humorous aspect of it too, and so she’s very giggly. The rope routine is the climax of her character’s anger explosion.”
“The throwing knife routine morphs out of a flashback to a birthday party where a game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey kind of becomes something else,” she said. “I started working with knives first in dancing. I learned trapeze and aerial rope, and then picked up dancing knives because they’re very similar to dancing with clubs in rhythmic gymnastics, so I just transferred my knowledge. As far as throwing knives, a few years ago I saw a wonderful French film called The Girl on the Bridge, and it involved knife throwing. It looked exciting, so I contacted a friend who worked with them and started to train.”
Kosova, who will tour with PSY through spring, said, “I really love that when people watch the show, they find at least one character they can relate to, and I think there’s a little of us in every one of the characters. It really depends on what you read into the scenes. There’s a lot of commentary about the seriousness of what’s going on, but also the absurdity and the humor. And it’s awesome seeing how the circus aspect is worked in.”
PSY will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12, and 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 13. Tickets are $39 – $61. For tickets or discount information, call (937) 228-3630 or visit victoratheatre.com.
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William Daniels Jr