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Archive for the ‘Cirque Éloize’ Category

[ATTENDED: January 11, 2017] Cirque Éloize: Saloon

salooonI was pretty excited to see that Cirque Éloize was coming back with an all new show.  Their previous show Cirkopolis was phenomenal–wonderfully constructed and very cool to look at.  This show was very different, both in theme and production, but it was still amazing.

Indeed, I had mistakenly believed that this production was by Cirque Alphonse (another troupe from Montreal), who did a lumberjack-themed show last year.  But no, it was from the folks who did CirkopolisCirkopolis proved to be so different from Saloon, that it’s even more impressive that the same company created both shows.

This show was designed to be set in an old timey-salooon.  And while most Cirques perform the same basic routines, it was really fun to see how they were able to modify them for this new setting and “story.”  I also loved that they were all dressed like the old west–with chaps, and suspenders and hats–the kind of clothes that you really never see people performing this kind of material in (although I’m sure there must have been leotards underneath, right?). (more…)

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[ATTENDED: March 9, 2014] Cirque Éloize: Cirkopolis

cirkopolosI was a little concerned that we might be circused and acrobatted out when I got us tickets for Cirque Éloize.  But I’m really glad I got them.

What I have learned about circuses, cirques, and acrobats is that there are basically a half dozen things you can do: gymnastics on ropes, gymnastics on poles, contortions, juggling, wheels and balance.  So, when you see a new act, it’s unlikely you’ll get much variation on these essential skills.  The big difference comes in presentation.  And while the Chinese Acrobats do wonderful presentation, they had nothing on Cirque Éloize for overall presentation, stage set up and storytelling.

The first thing you hear as the lights dim is loud industrial noises (the music was a little too loud, I felt, but it really showed the sense of oppression they were trying to convey).  The din grew louder and louder until the curtain rose and we saw a man sitting at a desk stamping papers rhythmically.  He finishes his work and more papers come. More and more (with simple comic touches and sound effects).  He is dressed in drab grays as is every other person, including the women–suits, raincoats, all in drab gray.  They start moving around en masse, doing some simple but interesting footwork as the music grows more tense.  Our worker drone is swept up by the conforming masses.  And then a video backdrop appears with gears and dark buildings.  It zooms in on a scene as the first act begins–one where people start climbing all over his desk and jumping off. You get a feeling of Metropolis, or Brazil or even Charlie Chaplin films–and the zooming nature really makes it feel like you are soaring along.

What amazed about this sequence initially was their dress–you’re used to seeing acrobats in sleek outfits but these folks were in suits.  And they started doing acrobatic stuff–but more of a mix of dance and acrobatics than simple feats of strength and agility.  The most impressive part was when one of them men simple grabbed another man by the hands and essentially hurled him, upright, onto his own shoulders.  There were amazing displays of this kind of strength and balance–nothing slow and subtle, just pop, there he is.  And yet all the while other people are doing things behind him which are also amazing to watch. (more…)

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