Extreme Jump!

Sep 30, 2013

Extreme Jump! is slap-stick comedy and martial arts live on stage. Yegam Theatre Company’s masters of their craft fly through the air in extreme acrobatics which you’d swear used special effects if you saw them on screen. But there is no post-production here – they really did just do that.

There were plenty of big audience laughs during the slapstick elements of the show at the Festival Theatre, but it was the performers’ physical talents that had me awestruck – especially the beauty in the combination of Taekwondo, Hapkido, karate, ballet and other disciplines. How is it martial arts can make violence appear so graceful?

I would love to have seen the choreography-led sequences driving the performance and given more prevalence than the storyline, but I was by no means left wanting, with myriad people launching themselves through the air in flips, kicks, dives and tumbles.

Plenty of young families turned out for the show, with extra cushions supplied for the small folk to boost themselves up so they could see. Even those as young as my four-year-old enjoyed the “cool tricks” and crazy antics, accompanied by a plot simple enough for all to follow (no doubt other parents were also getting a running commentary about which characters were making ”bad choices” and which were being “good friends to each other”!).

The pre-recorded soundtrack was disappointingly un-Korean, consisting mostly of stock-standard Western pop-rock instrumentals, and a more culturally relevant choice of music could really have punctuated the martial arts and complemented the show as a cultural celebration. But at least they didn’t miss the opportunity to include some of the West’s favourite K-Pop choreography, and the sneaky Gangnam-style moves that made an appearance were a quality cliché.

Unfortunately, if you didn’t see the weekend performances, you’ve already missed your chance to catch Extreme Jump! at this year’s OzAsia Festival, but look up the Yegam Theatre Company on YouTube and keep an eye out for future performances. They have awoken my appreciation for martial arts.

More OzAsia Festival reviews
Review: Kamahl: My Music, My Life
Review: SuperEverything
Review: Parah
Review: Heart to Heart
Review: OzAsia on Screen – The Great Passage
Review: Fight the Landlord
Review: Meeting with Bodhisattva
Review: Malaysian singer Yuna



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