Pure acrobatics operates in a precise world where time and 3D space intersect in ways even Einstein could not have imagined without vaudeville. As my old Russian circus teacher Gregory Fedin put it, "if you are able to see space, the acrobat has to go through it... go with the curves, like the tracks of a railway."

Physical comedy often hitches a ride along these same curvy tracks, but it also inhabits the messier world of people and objects, of personality and ambition and conflict. When I teach physical comedy, I like to play with this material world as much as possible, with oddball characters at odds with one another, and with all kinds of man-made stuff — chairs and tables, stairs and doors, walls and windows, and with every object that dares challenge our pride with the label "unbreakable." So here in Barcelona we’ve been developing a vocabulary of theatrical acrobatics by using our partner's weight and mass to create counterbalances and human levers. Add to that an exploration of the material world starting with our old friends, chairs and tables.

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