Dressed in hooded bodysuits, father in yellow, mother in blue and child in white, the trio
become a living sculpture of gracefully intertwined limbs. Their dance is simple, harmonious. The parents
hold their child up to the heavens. The child is their future - the future of humanity. This act introduces the
child, who plays the important role of Saltimbanco's miniature clown. Throughout the show, the child
transforms into a series of different characters exploring its identity and the world beyond parental
influence. (The bell that opens the show weighs 100 kilos.)
The celebration that "Kumbalawe" brings is quickly replaced by Saltimbanco's first act - the Adagio Trio.
Adagio, as defined by Merriam-Webster's Dictionary, is Italian meaning: "movement at a slow tempo or pace", and
it's within this definition that the Adagio Trio performs.
Mother, Father and Child - in Blue, Yellow and White (Perhaps suggesting
the father as "the sun", the mother as "the moon", and the child as "the stars")
- present themselves in saltimbanque masques. Once removed, a sensual ballet of
contortion begins that takes the breath away. Complete trust is key as limber
appendages intertwine with one another, creating a beautiful display of movement.
Historically (as in the filmed version), the Adagio Trio featured feats of strength by the Child, as he
contorted himself into many breathtaking positions. For example, in one bit he laid flat on the ground while
his father picked him up by his feet. In another, the child swung back and forth, inverted heels over head, with
his father holding. And, in probably one of the most breathtaking, the father holding the mother (who herself
was in a circle, holding her ankles) over his head, then letting her go. Imagine the shock of watching a full
grown woman fall haplessly to the man's feet.
This act is performed to the song entitled "Adagio Trio", which features a haunting melody line backed by
fretless bass and melancholy saxophone with a chorus that includes a memorable classical guitar line. The child
then climbs into a large air-filled chair and grows older, leading to the exciting act of Chinese Poles.