by: Alix Cohen
Magnus Borju and Manu Tiger met cute when both were training without their performance partners and decided on the spot to join forces. Two weeks later, they were on the streets, shortly after, onstage. Since then, the duo has performed in 21 countries. This quirky, original show needs no language comprehension. About 65 minutes long, backed by electronic music and sounds, it held the attention of an audience comprised of both adults and very young children. There was no restlessness chatter, no calling out; just giggles and laughter.
Two themes drive Attached. The first, is visual. Borju is quite a bit taller and broader than his partner. He does the heavy lifting – boxes, apparatus, and his short, wirey collaborator, who never fails to look pleased or perplexed at suddenly being shifted around like a piece of furniture. (Tiger’s expressions add great charm playing off Borju’s deadpan.) Acrobatics inevitably find the smaller landed or perching on the larger man’s shoulders. There’s even some friendly competition as to prominence.
The second is connection. “The human domino effect – how one person’s actions can color another person’s life…”Here we see affection, dependence, and Rube Goldberg-like action/reaction. The men start out in zippered suits covered in Velcro. At the end of a series of inadvertent entanglements, Tiger runs, jumps, and throws himself horizontally across Borju sticking to him in impossible positions. It’s clear the gestures are hugs. When Tiger finds himself splayed across a Velcro “X” on an upended flying mat (think mattress), the audience is enlisted in target practice. Afterwards, it takes a game volunteer to crowbar the ‘victim’ off in what becomes a beguiling comic vignette.
Jumping onto teeterboards (think seesaw), both thespians fly high and flip, sometimes switching places. (Boards ranging from 8’ to 1’ ‘toys’ are utilized.) An unfussy exhibit of genial timing features moving boxes and juggling balls with four hands at close interplay. Larger boxes stack providing seemingly unstable platforms. The two traverse, rock and leap across a silver, metal curve about 15’ wide and 1’ deep. Acrobatic agility, counterbalance and boomerang repercussions arrive as presented by low key clowns rather than physical specimens.
The finale configuration involves two teeterboards, two flying mats, a weight suspended from the ceiling, the silver curve, Velcro balls, a draped suit, and three audience volunteers. A bit disappointing, it depends less on rebounds than sight gags. Still, when the two suddenly clutch one another in success and recognition, we feel involved in the accomplishment.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UvHY9gGh1Q0 Video Trailer
Attached by Magmanus
Created and Performed by Magnus Bjoru and Manu Tiger
Directed by Jay Gilligan
NYU Skirball Center 566 LaGuardia Place