Yablochkov Candle @ Jacksons Lane (CircusFest 2018) Review

Yablochkov Candle is an aerial exploration from Finnish performer Ilona Jäntti and an incredibly unique vocal performance from singer-songwriter Aino Venna. The live music complements the acrobatics perfectly, or should I say the acrobatics complement the music, for each art form is of equal importance throughout.


A web of lights hang above the cabaret styled tables of this dimly lit, smoky room, and a aerial hoop hangs in the only space unoccupied (creating such anticipation I can barely wait for it to begin). I feel as though I am in a 1920’s cabaret dream, especially when the low tones of Aino Venna’s voice fill the air and Ilona Jäntti proceeds to bend and glide around the hoop. After a couple of sequences, I am pleasantly surprised to next see her climb down a couple of large lights dangling above a couple at their table. It is as though you never know where she is going to come from next!

The physical strength is stunning, Ilona articulates every single movement and the fluidity of each sequence makes it seem effortless. Although amazed, I feel comfortable in her ability on each apparatus (nothing worse than breaking a sweat cause you think a performer might fall). She does not over dramatise the choreography with sudden tricks to get a reaction, but instead keeps within the atmosphere and style of music, and her confidence radiates.

The live music is exquisite; the fusion of Aino Venna on guitar and an interesting looking fellow on a double bass, both dress to the nines and oozing talent. Like the movement, their skill seems effortless, and they are a joy to watch and listen to. I would love to hear more solos from the gentleman on double bass (prehaps to fill the smoky silence of transitions?), however Venna has us immersed with her expressive nature, poetic songs, and stunning vocal quality.

One of the most atmospheric theatre experiences I have encountered. The whole room is filled with beautifully unique music and impressive circus skills, yet the dream-like, relaxed vibe still remains. I could sit there for hours… certainly an entertaining evening!

Review written by Lauren Maxwell.

Yablochkov Candle was shown at Jacksons Lane. For more information on the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop