24 October 2014

Cirque Plume walks us along the tightrope of time

Challenges | Le Cirque Plume nous suspend au fil du temps (presse_tempus) {PDF}

Discovering Cirque Plume for the first time, being bottle-fed on Philippe Découflé and practically allergic to Bouglione and their Barnum-like friends, may seem like a lost cause. However the posters that had, since July, been decorating the endless Paris metro corridors were so tempting. We decided to get tickets. What a nice surprise! To celebrate their thirtieth anniversary Cirque Plume has wilfully chosen to look at things... very closely. Putting the audience within touching distance and surrounding them with an intimate stage and lighting design.

A captivating musical score No ring-master, muscle-bound trapeze acts or caged animals for these pioneers of new circus from Besançon. Nearly two hours of pure poetry instead, energised with burlesque, dream-like and acrobatic acts, mostly performed by women. Carried along by a captivating musical score from Benoît Schick, composer and member of the team for the past ten years.
Connoisseurs would say that this latest creation, Tempus Fugit? Une ballade sur le chemin perdu almost restricts itself to the safe values of the Plume collective and this new generation of circus art: shadow theatre, a tightrope walked with all of the grace of a little opera rat, an acrobat dancing around a Chinese pole with squirrel-like agility.
Circus art presented as something light and poetic, like this tightrope walker with all of the grace of a ballet dancer. All of the artists seem equally engaged in the collective’s sense of humour and auto-derision. There is the sequence where the sheet-music escapes from its stand and takes to the air only to be followed by the musician. There are also the asides explaining why he chose a life on the road over a job in a factory, provided in between jokes by Pierre Kudlak, Cirque Plume’s founder, writer and artistic director. Mick Holsbeke deserves a special mention for the contagious hilarity of his clowning, pure fun in its own right, as do the leaps and bounds of Maxime Pythoud and his perfect athletic physique in the Cyr wheel. The perfect enchanted entertainment for kids from 1 to 99 years of age.

Thuy-Diep N’GUYEN