The circus—the zany part of it, at least—is in town! AGA-BOOM is a family affair, with director Dimitri Bogatirev and Iryna Ivanytska (veteran clowns from Cirque du Soleil), their son Anton, Philip Briggs, and gymnast Elena Nekrassova romping through 80 minutes of uncomplicated silliness. Perhaps you’re not feeling like a clown show today. But when Ivanytska first darts out in patchy coat and fright wig as androgynous, sweet-faced Boom, she quickly draws everyone into her orbit, never letting go. An adept, mercurial actor and mover, she’s well matched by hubby Bogatirev, whose grounded, slightly sleazy Aga character brings the funk. (Watch him twirl a polka-dot carry-on like a champion drum major or wriggle his loose hips while approximating a Chinese ribbon dance with unspooled toilet paper.) Bogatirev includes Cirque-ish sophistication—Nekrassova’s unsettling mask dance where she morphs into a variety of creatures; Vasily Bogatyrev’s ebullient, danceable score; and surrealist visions from out of the blue. But it’s mostly about paper—boomaga in Russian. Tear it, wear it, pelt your neighbor with it. The audience provides the finale, and there’s no escaping participation when a huge balloon heads right for your face!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 21, 2004