Cirque du Soleil
Vapid, immense mega circus. Cirque du Soleil started in the 80s as a radical outfit – taking the then daring step of touring a circus without animals, and introducing thematic and narrative frames and greater characterisation. They quickly expanded, and today CDS has over 20 productions running simultaneously around the world. It has the income of a corporation, and the responsibilities of a corporation – there is too much to lose in creative risk, and as such the company churns out mediocre and blandly repetitive productions that waste the exceptional talents of their performers.
"'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.
So then: the history of human evolution, Cirque-style. Men and women in Lycra frog suits bound through the space of a giant bone lattice as a spinning glitterball human is lowered from the roof.
Plot: an angel falls from the sky into a sort of forest kingdom. He has lost his wings, and while trekking around to find them meets an insectile princess in a deep-green costume of spikes and ridges.
Quidam was probably amazing once. A bored young girl is transported from her parents’ world into another place: a dreamland where she encounters strange and sometimes frightening characters, led all the while by a puckish guide who ultimately reunites her with her mother and father.