Bodies in motion re- imagine the circus
‘‘ 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.
Solstrom: The Special