Edinburgh Fringe Fest - IMA (Pray)
IMA (Pray) is a highly immersive circus experience from award winning Hungarian cirque danse company Recirquel, performed in a site-specific installation space, built to house this magical and awe-inspiring production.
Globally acclaimed director-choreographer Bence Vági - renowned for pioneering ground-breaking forms of circus and physical theatre – told Hinton more about IMA, the impact it has had on audiences and why he suggests you see it more than once.
Can you describe IMA to readers who may never have heard of it?
IMA (Pray) is an immersive experience featuring cirque danse in a unique ritual guided by the performer, who becomes a 21st century shaman taking the audience into the unknown territories of the human mind. Religions, beliefs are distant matters in the installation space reminiscent of sacred places, and only the human soul is in the focus of attention. I worked with my team to create a space inspired by the starry sky stretching over the desert; the place where human beings realize that we are merely tiny points in the infinite vastness of the universe.
Is this a brand-new form of circus/theatre/art?
IMA is an innovative performance that is based on cirque danse, the genre combining contemporary dance and circus arts, which has become a trademark of Recirquel. This show elevates cirque danse to a whole new level by creating an immersive experience that allows the audience to step out of the reality of worldly existence by becoming part of the production. Reviewers have referred to IMA as a production that is a paradigm shift in audience experience and theatre technology alike.
Recirquel is a Hungarian company, is IMA suitable for all cultures/ages/languages?
Yes, it is. The only issue can be with small children who can find it difficult to relate to the show and keep the silence, that is why we do not recommend it for children younger than 8.
What reactions and responses have you had from crowds at previous performances?
IMA has a profound effect on most people. Depending on where you are in your life, it might make you remember someone you lost, even evoking feelings buried deep inside, but it might as well fill you with hope and lift your spirit. Many viewers have referred to the experience as something very similar to meditation, or a ritual.
Each timeslot is a different performer, do you suggest audience members experience IMA more than once?
Yes, it is definitely worth coming back. While performing the same choreography, the personality, the style, the body of the performer is such an important part of the show that it changes the experience a lot. Many audience members leave the space not believing it was the same choreography and decide to come back to see all of the performers.
IMA (Pray) will be performed at 12pm*, 1.30pm*, 3pm, 4.30pm, 6pm and 7.30pm (*Fri, Sat Sun only) in Assembly’s specially built venue Murrayfield Ice Rink from 4th – 27th August (not 15th or 22nd)