This sidewalk–inspired performance is anything but pedestrian.
“Delirio,” a new show from aerialist Jason Mejias, puts a trippy spin on strolling down the street, re–imagining routine encounters with people on the sidewalk as acts in a variety show.
“They’re normal people, but they all of a sudden start performing,” Mejias said. “Normal life becomes exaggerated into a circus act.”
The show, which means “delirium” in Spanish, swings into Galapagos Art Space in Dumbo on July 25. The concept involves a man walking down the street who suddenly falls unconscious and begins hallucinating. The production is a chance to incorporate acrobatics and other circus feats into a loose narrative, Mejias said.
“I’d been doing cabaret shows, but you don’t get to tell a story,” said Mejias, who is producing “Delirio,” but not performing in it. “I wanted to do a show where I get to tell a story.”
On his skewed jaunt, the show’s main character encounters a passing pedestrian who suddenly starts hoola-hooping with dozens of hoops. He watches a dog walker transform into an acrobat, with the leash serving as a suspension rope for an aerial performance. And he sees a businessman reveal himself as an undercover contortionist. The visions all represent a slight tweak to the occurrences people experience in this city every day, Mejias said.
“New York is kind of crazy even in reality,” he said. “You see stuff like this on the streets, but when you make it a hallucination it becomes more theatrical.”
There is not much in the way of a set, with the location mostly implied by the wardrobe and some sound effects. But the space at Gallapagos allows for some of the aerial performers to fly their trade up close with the audience, which Mejias said is exciting.
“With the aerialist that close to the crowd, it becomes a little more interactive,” he said.
Mejias scouted his seven-member cast from the ranks of the variety show and circus performers he knows through his work as an aerialist. He said he sees “Delirio” as a chance to bring these folks together.
“There’s not enough circus in New York from New Yorkers,” he said.
“Delirio” at Galapagos Art Space [16 Main St. between Plymouth and Water streets in Dumbo, (718) 222–8500, www.galapa