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Offering a fresh way of helping you keep up with art and entertainment happenings around the Capital District.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

cirque du soleil Quidam

The first time I took my granddaughter to the ballet she described the experience as watching paintings come to life on stage. On Wednesday I took her and her sister to see the Cirque du Soleil production of "Quidam" at the Times Union Center in Albany.

If she knew a bit more about art history she might have described the Cirque show as a painting by Salvatore Dali come to life.

"Quidam" is a dark, fascinating show about a young girl who is taken on a journey by a mysterious silent entity known as Quidam. Along the way they meet groups of performing artists who display their skills and talents. Even when the acrobats twist and turn, the jugglers juggle and rope dancers skip rope, there are clusters of odd looking people hovering in the background that- like in most Dali paintings - border somewhere between the surreal and the pretentious.

Indeed without this device of a story Cirque would be a circus show without animals. But even then it would be an amazing show. Even though each act goes on too long and the evening would be better if one of two acts were eliminated, there is no denying the awesome skills of the performers.

One male-female couple show hard-to-believe strength and agility as they form impossible positions that rely on strength most mortals can only dream of having. A woman floats in the air using two red drapes to help her perform a sensual air ballet and a trio of women use rings to fly through the air supported by body parts (like the rear part of the neck) to keep them from falling. Another group hurls members high, low and in-between and all are caught by sturdy men sometimes standing on each other's shoulders.

Every act is daunting but by the end of the two-and-a-half hour show even the most impressive feats of skill become ho-hum. I found myself wondering not so much as how do the performers do it, but how did they discover they could such things. They must have ignored the warning "Kids don't try this at home."

I can't say with certainty if it was the style of acts that became dreary or the dark mood of the story that contributed to the lack of joy in the evening. What I can say for sure is the one act that had the audience totally involved was the pantomime comic who used audience members in his act. He is a comic master and the audience participants great sports. More important it was laugh out loud funny that had me and the kids sharing a good time.

We all enjoyed the night. We were filled with awe about the skill of the performers and we were pleased the girls journey ended well. But we mostly remember a big gawky comic who held us in his hands and made us laugh.

Quidam continues at the TU Center until Sunday. It is amazing fun -even if you don't care for the art of Salvatore Dali,


Blogger Taylor said...

really without this tool of a story Cirque would be a circus show without animals.cirque du soleil quidam tickets But smooth then it would be an astonishing show.

December 15, 2011 at 2:23 AM 

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