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TO AUG. 17
With fleeting doubts about your ability to breathe, you squeeze through balloon-like walls and stumble upon the summer’s dry brown grass and a circle of lawn chairs. Inside an enormous dome on the Kennedy Center’s plaza, Les Arts Sauts tests gravity in an original performance medium, a hermetically sealed metal-and-fabric world anchored by water and structured by air. Whimsical and ethereal, the acrobatic group’s show tests the possibilities of human flight sans propellers and challenges conventional concepts of stage entrances, exits, and compositions. Clad in white spandex, the troupe executes an extended trapeze act with both the greatest of ease and pyrotechnic flair. Bodies crawl, swing, soar, and somersault across the top of the bubble, crossing each other in an increasingly spectacular display and forming an abstract suspended sculpture. Taking their daredeviltry to an extreme, the performers eventually abandon their equipment and swing from each other’s arms. Live musicians and singers accompany the troupe with operatic, otherworldly music, as well as commentary on the performers’ movements, including their falls from the swings. Watch as Les Arts Sauts reinvents the elements of earth, air, water, and circus, and creates a visual feast of movement and theatricality at 8 p.m. daily, to Tuesday, Aug. 17, at the Kennedy Center’s plaza. $45. (202) 467-4600. (Karen Mitchell)