Dates: 6 May - 6 June, 2004
Venue
: Le Grand Chapiteau at Concord Pacific Place

Reviewer: Patricia Fleming


 

 

 

 

 

Director: Franco Dragone

Musical Director: Benoit Jutras
Set Design: Michel Crête


Target, one of Quidam's characters

Beauty, Grace, Fun & Games. awaited the audience last Thursday at the Vancouver premier of Quidam, one of the many touring Cirque du Soleil extravaganzas. As a first-time Cirquer I was anxious to finally see one of Quebec’s greatest international exports and I wasn’t disappointed. It was what we expect from the circus – lots of different things going on simultaneously on the floor - clowns, beautiful athletes, fabulous costumes, and remarkable feats of artistry, poise, sensuality and balance. It was part Les Miserables – part surreal-story and The Big Top, with painted clouds and a curved structure, made me feel as if I was sitting on a river bank watching the show unfold.

The German Wheel

Quidam: “The nameless passer-by or person living in an all too anonymous society”. The general theme of Quidam revolved around a young, bored teenage girl with predictable parents, and her dream/desire to join street people and escape. Symbols included a large red balloon and a headless man who gives her his bowler hat. The imagery and acts were quite remarkable - Russian dancers, sparklers, hoops, rope twirling, whirling dervishes, a German Wheel, a nymph on a trapeze with a bird cage and bell, cast members in hazard suits galloping around on all fours (simulating animals). Frankenstein, a mad scientist, the Father walking (in the air) with his newspaper through his head, or walking on the ground and punching the red balloon. Two Emperors with long white clothes and a Buddha figure - all suspended in the air - and Cloud swings, juggling and Spanish Webs.

 

 

 

 

Boum Boum

An aerial contortionist in a nude body suit slithered down red silk – very sensual and beautiful - and I was particularly moved by the Statue – Vis Versa act. An absolutely beautiful, slow motion coming together of a man and a woman using power, beauty, poise, strength and agility to maximum effect. It was flawless. Another wonderful act were the four women/girl Diabolos’ artists who dressed in gold, and looking almost identical, had a fabulous mechanical feel to them. Clock-like. Also, the skipping couple were terrific. They did push ups while skipping! And they skipped while skipping (double).

There were also two audience participation events. One with a Rose, a Clown, and singer Phil Collins’ daughter it turns out, (plucked from the audience) and the second, a hilarious film making sequence with 3 audience members, a mime and a lot of laughs.
Also, the live music was very good with great sound throughout and the special effects worked very well (wind howling).

The finale – a Banquine I believe it is called - where cast members created a pyramid and tossed the two gymnasts back and forth - was full of suspense, teamwork, strength and experience. Guys in tattered clothes and girls in pink with blond hair – very effective – and a suitable end to the show.

Lots of merchandise for sale in the Quidam Collection at the Boutique, including fabulous Venetian-style masks, for everyone to take home a little piece of a great evening’s entertainment. I can’t wait to see the adults-only show in Las Vegas.

2004, Patricia Fleming


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