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Reviews/Circus/Music

BarbieQ and Kinetica fire up the party

3 February 2022

A circus troupe and drag artist join forces in a fitting tribute to a pop superstar, writes Michelle White.

P!nk: The Circus, BarbieQ and Kinetica ·
Planet Royale, 2 February 2022 ·

Perth drag artist BarbieQ and local circus company Kinetica first joined forces at Fringe World last year, paying tribute to music icon Madonna. It’s safe to say, then, that this team is not afraid to go big.

This time around their homage is to another musical superstar, P!nk.

Not only is P!nk an internationally successful music artist, she’s a former gymnast known for her highly athletic arena spectaculars, complete with daredevil aerial acrobatics.

Having been to one of P!nk’s shows and listing it as one of my all-time favourite concert experiences, I go in to P!nk: The Circus with trepidation. It’s a bloody hard act to emulate.

But to use the words of P!nk herself, Kinetica’s performers are like “Glitter in the Air” and “F*ckin’ perfect”.

The dancers and acrobats not only meet the challenge, they nail it.

Aerial acrobatics, contortionists, pole dancing, solos and non-stop gymnastics are delivered with humour, grace, poignancy and athleticism – all underscored by a selection of P!nk’s greatest hits. Outstanding.

BarbieQ and Kinetica had my plus one and I clapping, fist pumping and jiggling in our seats so much, her fitness watch recorded a solid 30-minute workout.

An image from BarbieQ and Kinetica's show 'P!nk: The Circus'. Pictured is a male suspended in the air male hoop aerialist holds the hoop with both hands while his legs split above the hoop.
Aerial acrobatics are delivered with grace and athleticism. Pictured is Matthew Pope. Photo: Ultimate Imagery

One particular highlight is the song “Just Like Fire”, which features an Alice in Wonderland themed dance performed around a contortionist, whose elegantly eye-popping body manipulations had me smiling and squirming in equal measure.

The role of P!nk is performed by Perth drag legend BarbieQ, who lip-syncs most of the songs and keeps us on edge with her dance routines performed on dangerously high heels.

Given P!nk’s reputation as a such bold and feisty performer, and BarbieQ’s reputation as a diva-entertainer, it would be wonderful to see some verbal energy in the show, perhaps some cheeky banter between songs.

I was also left wanting more direct interaction between Pink’s character and the acrobats – it does happen, but perhaps a bit too late and not enough.

Nonetheless the show is a lot of fun and was well received by a very appreciative opening night audience.

“Raise Your Glass” and welcome to the “Funhouse”!

P!nk: The Circus continues until 6 February, 2022

Pictured top: BarbieQ and members of the Kinetica Haydn Shadforth, Kade Sweeney, Kenisha Yam and Elysha Atwell. Photo: Ultimate Imagery

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Author —
Michelle White

Michelle White is a Yamatji storyteller with more than 30 years writing and producing for televison, radio, print and online. She has extensive experience working in the arts and currently serves as Partnerships and Platforming Manager for Community Arts Network. Favourite part of the playground? The flying fox or wherever the food is!

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