The Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
Through July 28, 2013
On tour in the US and around the world
What's It All About?
From the show (since I very rarely can figure out what the plot of a Cirque show is amidst all of the wondrous balancing, juggling, flying and clowning:
Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world - the world of Quidam - where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.
Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past and swallowed by the crowd. It could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming or going at the heart of our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority. The one who cries out, sings and dreams within us all. This is the "quidam" whom this show allows to speak. This is the place that beckons - a place for dreaming and genuine relations where all quidams, by proclaiming their individuality, can finally emerge from anonymity.
Quidam is directed by Guy Laliberté whose credits include Cirque du Soleil (1985), La magie continue (1986), We Reinvent the Circus (1987), Nouvelle expérience (1990), Saltimbanco (1992), Mystère (1993) Alegría (1994), Quidam (1996), La Nouba and "O" (1998). He also directed the full-length feature Alegria, which came out in the spring of 1999.
What are the Highlights?
Endless fun as acrobats, jugglers, clowns and even audience members entertain for about two hours under expansive curved trussing that allows performers to fly and even walk on air. It's breathtaking, awe-inspiring stuff.
This show doesn't include some of the more death-defying acts Cirque du Soleil is known for, but this troupe seems to be made up of exceptionally skilled acts with special talents. Standing out are these:
- "Statue," where a man and a woman (Yves Decoste and Valentyna Sidenko), showcasing their very toned muscles, move as one while striking amazing poses of balance with grace and dexterity.
- "Skipping ropes" which highlights individual jump roping skills and brings the large ensemble together for an amazing group routine.
- "Clown Cinema," featuring clown Toto Castineiras trying to direct a movie with participants from the audience. Every time Castineiras was on stage the cute little boy in front of me giggled contagiously.
- "Banquine," a spectacular with 15 performers doing a routine of human pyramids and acrobatics that make cheerleading competitions look lame. Banquine is an Italian acrobatic tradition with origins that date back to the middle ages (and yes, that's straight out of the program -- again, I won't pretend to have taken in anything but the pure spectacle f the experience). This act won a Golden Clown at the Monte Carlo Circus Festival.
The music, composed by Musical Director Benoit Jutras, doesn't sound like a Cirque score (he has composed the scores for O and La Nouba also) and includes annoying parts that sound like someone talking on a cell phone or on the radio while the music is playing. Some sounded like Mongolian throat singers to my son, who attended with me, and who was quite impressed. If he hadn't mentioned it, I wouldn't have been able to just told you that, having never heard of Mongolian throat singers myself.....
Here's what the show says about the music:
"In Quidam, Cirque du Soleil takes a new approach to vocals. For the first time, the fragility of a childlike voice combines with the strength of a man’s voice to create a powerful blend of sensitivity and intensity. The musicians follow the artists’ movements and ensure they are in sync with the act."
The crowd here was not a theater audience, with people talking, taking photos and filming video throughout the show. The security sweep to get into the facility would make the TSA proud.
This New York engagement is very limited, running only through this Sunday, July 28 at the Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Ave Brooklyn, NY. Buy tickets by clicking here. For a list of tour cities, click here. Next stop: Florida.
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-- No notes. Enjoy.