Gandini Juggling
Gandini Juggling brings “Smashed” to MSU’s Peak Performances. COURTESY GANDINI JUGGLING/MSU

“Smashed,” an homage to choreographer Pina Bausch and the mathematics of dance, by UK company Gandini Juggling, will appear at Peak Performances from Thursday, Dec. 13 through Sunday, Dec. 16.

Nine jugglers with 80 apples and four crockery sets will enact the “dark potential and darker gender dynamics that lie under a pleasant tea party,” according to a release. ”Simultaneously evoking great pleasure and small disquiet, Smashed lightly disrupts the rigid conventions of etiquette, dress and body language. The result is a new hybrid of juggling, performed with meticulous unison and split-second timing, in a work that creates a riveting blur between dance-theater and circus.”  

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Set to a soundtrack that includes Bach, Louis Armstrong and Tammy Wynette, the Gandinis display a virtuosic blend of skills and precision. Formed in 1992 by world-renowned jugglers Gandini and Ylä-Hokkala Gandini.

Juggling has contributed juggling choreography for the Olivier Award-winning English National Opera (ENO) production of Philip Glass’s Akhnaten. Prior to their Peak Performances engagement, Gandini Juggling has been working with MSU mathematical sciences professors Mika Munakata and Ashuwin Vaidya to develop a juggling classroom module for their National Science Foundation-funded project called Engaged Learning through Creativity in Mathematics and Science. On Friday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m., Gandini, Munakata and Vaidya will discuss creativity in science and mathematics and the connections between mathematics, juggling and art. Performances are at the Alexander Kasser Theater, Montclair State University, 1 Normal Ave. For tickets and more information, visit peakperfs.org or call 973-655-5112.