La Croix
7 October 2014

Cirque Plume on the tightrope of time

La Croix | Le Cirque Plume sur le fil du temps (presse_tempus) {PDF}

Cirque Plume will be celebrating their thirtieth anniversary under the Big-Top of the Villette, Paris. A luminous family show which builds to a crescendo.

We barely notice, whatever our age, time passing as we discover this new show from Cirque Plume under the Villette’s big-top.
This "Ballad for the lost road" or "Tempus Fugit?" follows the twist, turns, arabesques and breathtaking leaps and bounds of a series of acts that combine fantasy, humour and physical performance. Nostalgia seems to be forgotten in these times of obssession with daily grinding routines.

Balancing acts, acrobats, trapeze artists and musicians

For 30 years now "Plume" and their accompanying generation of artists have been offering and revolutionising their playful day-dreams from the world of balancing acts, acrobats, trapeze artists and of course... musicians, always here to lead the dance.
From the world of circus they bring us magical flights of technical mastery, floating between the ground and the sky or often on a razor or cliff-edge. The danger is always averted and we can feel safe. For now. Even though we can tell that have been arduously rehearsed, these graceful motions take us away from our ground-level daily lives and lead us out into the open spaces of the body and spirit.

The luminous hourglass that marks the passing time

This eternally young collective built on the solid foundations of its "old guard" of founders, literally blows the dust away from how things should be done. Oh, to grow old, sang Brel! No question of that with "Tempus Fugit ? ".
It starts with a luminous hourglass on the stage stolidly marking the passage of time, but Cirque Plume upset everything, just calming down the time for an act that requires concentration and then.... off again with even more gusto. The show builds up to a crescendo with the passing of time, from yesterday to today. By turns with force and then a with feather’s touch. Whatever it takes.

Real dog and amusing gorilla

There is a sequence where the artist performs a shadow theatre that gradually captures the reddening dawn or dusk sun to attach it to himself like a red nose. Like the red noses of the clowns who have been mirroring our routine catastrophes and unexpected destinies for all eternity. The children in the audience laugh at the clever visual joke. Their elders soak up the positive vibrations for the rainy days to come.
Princess of the rings, virtuoso of the Chinese pole, ace of the Cyr wheel and other circus acts follow each other across the ring. The rhythm is maintained by switches from more classical acts to others more unusual. A real dog makes a sudden appearance in the ring. On another occasion the artist returns to the fore and plays the role of an amusing gorilla. All built on the solid experience and technical ability that "Plume" have built up over time. As the short abecedarium, published to mark this anniversary, bears witness. Live show, that’s the key. Pretty much says it all.

Robert MIGLIORINI