Grand Chapiteau

On Friday, a friend took me to see my first ever Cirque Du Soleil. It was called Totem and it was wonderful! The costumes and theatrics made it really captivating. Some of the most interesting acts were: a feminine duo who spun small rugs around on their hands and feet in awkward and connected positions; a couple who did a shy, flirty boy-meets-girl sequence together on a trapeze; and another couple who were dressed as American Indians on roller skates, spinning like crazy on a round dais no more than 2 metres in diameter. The most clever stunt was when various monkeys wandered around in a circle, then a business man with a suit and briefcase joined them and all of a sudden we realised we were looking at the March of Progress in 3D. My most memorable act was Charles Darwin inside a large glass funnel, who threw glowing balls around the funnel so that they went around him in glowing circles. It was similar to juggling but rather than throw balls in the air he was throwing them at angles around his funnel. When the lights dimmed and we only saw him standing with the glowing balls circling him, it looked very cool, like an old man at a funky Berlin rave.

One thing I never realised is that Cirque started in Montreal, so they use many French words in their announcements like “Please proceed to the grand chapiteau”. They have had about 30 different touring shows, going back to 1984, and Totem is less than 3 years old. Many of the acts were of similar quality and skill to various other circus feats I’ve seen throughout my life but the thing that makes Cirque so unique is to blend them all into a distinct theme while adding the most amazing makeup, costumes and theatrics. Bravo, Canada.

I think I’m going to want to go and see their latest movie now –

One Response to “Grand Chapiteau”
  1. kdisleaze says:

    That’s so cool! I took Oak to see their Kooza show at the Royal Albert Hall for his birthday in February. It was amazing, we saw the wheel of death and some stunning acrobatics. This show focused on the more traditional circus shows, so there was quite a lot of clowns, so I would have been interested to see the one you saw as it sounds more contemporary.

    I’m up for watching their film as well, it’s had a limited release here, but it’s showing at the Curzon in Richmond on Sunday!

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