Le Progrès
27 May 2017

Cirque Plume reveals its magical Dernière Saison

It was long awaited. Cirque Plume opened its final creation in mid-May, performing for audiences in Besançon before heading to the Nuits de Fourvière Festival, where the show will play for over a month. We saw La Dernière Saison. We adored it

(Photo by Yves PETIT : It’s The Rite of Spring, Cirque Plume style)

Inside the big top, along the stands, spectators tapped their impatient feet, marking the rhythm. Towering impassively above the stage, a majestic tree branch stripped itself of its leaves —reddened through time — during a silent rain. Suddenly, darkness fell. Enigmatic glimmers of light appeared, then music. The reign of wildlife, fantastical woodcocks and other strange creatures of the forest could begin. Welcome to the unique world of Cirque Plume, whose final creation opened on May 19 for audiences in Besançon.
One last season — one Dernière Saison — that audiences of Nuits de Fourvière can discover for themselves for a little over a month in Parilly Park, starting June 30. A very, very beautiful gift to be savored slowly through the retina of the eyes and through the heart, without missing the slightest detail, the slightest image, the slightest little finding of genius.
It is written that following this tour, after 30 years of existence, the Cirque Plume will definitively close its box of poetry. Is this irremediable? “You want to know if I’m going to change my mind at the last minute?” laughs the artistic director Bernard Kudlak. “What’s for sure is that the show really came together. Typically, when a new show is in its early stages, there are still things to change and adjust. But this time, no. I am truly pleased.” It’s true that it’s hard to believe that La Dernière Saison has barely been playing before audiences for a few days (we attended the show on May 20, one day after the premiere).
There is a tight wire artist who does handstands on bottles; there a mind-blowing Chinese pole act under the winter moon where we almost believe the artist is levitating out of a frozen sky. There is a performer who juggles feathers, and a dancer on water. There’s also a woman made of rubber: the star of a magnificent spring masquerade ball.

“The show really came together. I am truly pleased.”
Bernard Kudlak
Artistic Director

Moments of grace are plentiful, with original music by Benoit Schick playing a major role. The whole thing is interspersed by hilarious acts of mischief and grace, most notably by the talented and polymorphous Cyril Casmèze.
From autumn to winter to spring to summer, all the way through to the fifth season: Cirque Plume take us through an entire palette of emotions. It’s a journey we suggest you do not miss.

Bernard Kudlak Artistic Director “We’ve always wanted to bring out the audience’s creativity, to make the audience creative.”

“The idea to create something around nature, the forest, and the seasons came to be just before Tempus Fugit [in 2013]. It’s the forest that has witnessed our birth and evolution. Furthermore, there are many similarities between circus and the forest. Both are places on the margins of society. A little over two years ago, I started imagining and documenting set designs. I read works by Wilson (19th and 20th century British botanist), a story about winter, poetry collections, books on Chinese painting. I took many long walks. I soon knew that I wanted to start with the autumn. I designed each scene. With this as a base, Benoît Schick began composing the music. And I began the casting process. We said we were looking for artists, and we received videos. I received videos from over 400 artists, and I met with about fifteen. They showed us their acts, and we had them improvise. Starting in October, we began to work. We tried to see if what I had imagined worked. I collected leaves from various trees. I tried to find THE branch that would be able to take on the leading role, in a way. I located branches from all different areas of the forest. At last, I found it, in my garden: it was the branch of my hazelnut tree. We validated ideas in the autumn and the winter. Each artist proposed an act, and we looked for ways to integrate it. There were a lot of proposals, improvisations, and delirious moments that we kept. Our story has always been a story of exchange. We’ve always wanted to bring out the audience’s creativity, to make the audience creative. We present a page, upon which the audience member can project or interpret what he or she likes, back at home.”

Céline Bally