Montreal-style Soleil clone. One of the three big companies dominating the scene in Montreal Cirque Éloize are, like Cirque du Soleil (who own a stake in the company), an entertainment vehicle that at any one time is simultaneously touring multiple big-budget glossy productions around the world. They have a reputation as being sharper and having more of an edge that CDS, but the company creates shows in fundamentally the same way, authorship residing with the directing/producing company rather than the artists themselves.
In iD we travel across the city, in day and night, for vignettes of urban lives. At the back of the stage the blank faces of a big, blocky set receive projections and transform into the different districts of the city: a construction site, a broad night view of slitted yellow windows, a residential building with its storeys criss-crossed by fire escape stairs.
"'This is the hat room.' The group shuffles round and strafes in that way to get a view through the window's narrow aperture: rows of long workbenches and sewing machines, fabric, mannequins. In a glass case by the door there's a small display of hats, or more broadly headgear, one item supporting long wavy bat ears and another stretched out in green-yellow, textured lizard skin. The guide is telling us that they employ fifty artisan hat-makers here, full-time."
Sideshow visits the nuclear family at Montreal's Saint-Michel district: La TOHU, Cirque du Soleil, and the École nationale de cirque.