Bodies in mo­tion re- imag­ine the cir­cus

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Tv -

‘‘ WIND from the past’’: the words write them­selves on screen at the beginning of this Cirque du Soleil spe­cial, as a man who could be the lost Ba­nana in Py­ja­mas ( B3?) tucks him­self into an out­sized baby’s cot.

The dec­la­ra­tion is not a ref­er­ence to the show be­ing from long ago 2004. In­stead, he is on a mis­sion to track crea­tures from the sun and find out what lurks be­hind this strange so­lar wind.

So far so pre­ten­tious. But this is Cirque du Soleil, so any­thing can hap­pen and usu­ally does.

There may be method be­yond sav­ing money in this ex­huma­tion from the vaults over at SBS.

It is New Year’s Eve, and who has the time or pa­tience to sit and watch some­thing plot-driven that de­mands close at­ten­tion?

Best to put this on, and catch a glimpse ev­ery now and then of some­thing ut­terly beau­ti­ful, some­thing in­sanely ac­ro­batic, some­thing grav­ity-de­fy­ingly danger­ous be­tween fill­ing chip bowls, crack­ing ice into the bath­tub and get­ting the short­bread ready for Hog­manay.

First up is Bungee from the troupe’s pop­u­lar out­ing Sal­tim­banco, which of­fers a good demon­stra­tion of the pluses and mi­nuses of see­ing a the­atri­cal spec­ta­cle such as this on the small screen.

The main mi­nus is that you miss the sense of height and depth. The main plus is that some of the cam­era an­gles could not pos­si­bly be seen from the au­di­ence per­spec­tive in the show tent.

The cam­era looks di­rectly down from above on kalei­do­scopic pat­terns formed by the per­form­ers as they come to­gether at high speed to join

New Year’s Eve am­bi­ence: Two acro­bats per­form in hands ever so briefly be­fore break­ing into sep­a­rate tra­jec­to­ries. Be­yond trapeze ac­ro­bat­ics, this is bal­let in three di­men­sions.

Next there’s a jug­gler from Dralion whose rou­tine grows more elab­o­rate un­til he seems to defy the laws of physics al­to­gether. Tat­tooed torch­bear­ers; an ac­coun­tant with a div­ing board and a tram­po­line; a girl who does in­cred­i­bly beau­ti­ful things with her body and hoops ( from Ale­gria ); and Aerial Con­tor­tion in Silk from Quidam are just some of the mes­meris­ing rou­tines on dis­play.

I’m sure you’ve guessed by now this is re­ally just a great­est hits com­pi­la­tion from Cirque. It’s not that if you’ve seen one of their shows you’ve seen them all, but that if you’ve seen one, you’ll know what to ex­pect from this pro­gram.

It may well keep the chil­dren en­ter­tained while you get on with your New Year’s Eve prepa­ra­tions. Or you may find your­self fall­ing un­der its spell.

At the very least the var­ied styles and ex­quis­ite moods of the sound­track will fill your house with an in­trigu­ing am­bi­ence. Just the ticket to wel­come friends for New Year’s Eve.

Ian Cuth­bert­son

Sol­strom: The Spe­cial

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