Froggy’s delight
19 October 2009

Le Cirque Plume - L’Atelier du peintre

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Froggy's delight | Le Cirque Plume - L'Atelier du peintre (presse_adp) {JPEG}

Show written, staged and produced by Bernard Kudlak, musical direction by Robert Miny, with Nicolas Boulet, Kristina Dniprenko, Hugues Fellot, Pierre Kudlak (or Patrick Barbenoire), Alain Mallet, Robert Miny (or Benoit Schick), Antoine Nicaud, Chelsea O’Brian, Mark Pieklo, Brigitte Sepaser (or Emmanuelle Saby), Laura Smith, Laurent Tellier-Dell’ova, and Tibo Tout Court.

In 2005, "Plic Ploc", the previous show by the celebrated circus from Franche-Comte, Cirque Plume, was a miracle of lightness, poetry and musicality, which dealt in pure magic and meticulous minutiae down to the tiniest detail in a totally triumphal symbiotic multi-disciplinary fusion that made it a complete art spectacle.

Now Cirque Plume is back with its latest creation, ’L’atelier du peintre’ (the artist’s studio), which its designer, the great Bernard Kudlak, presents as ’a journey into the imagination of the artist’.

Although it begins with a reproduction of ’Las Meninas’ by Velasquez, symbolism involving the painter in a painting and the use of mirrors, and although it is evocative of some of the old masters and the dripping technique and the brushwork of Yves Klein, the show is mainly aimed at a young audience via its comical side, making it immediately accessible.

Staying with pictorial imagery, the show uses broad brushstrokes and a large colour palette, enacted by two clowns who play Monsieur Loyal, Tibo Tout Court, a diminutive juggling clown, and Pedro, a singing clown, in a series of short sketches that make way for comic skits and shadow theatre interspersed with various circus acts.

Some of these show frequent signs of the evanescent style of stage design in which Cirque Plume has come to excel, transcending any physical presence, such as the aerial act by Chelsea O’Brian which follows a powerful aerial strap routine by Antoine Nicaud, or the poetry achieved on a trampoline from which Laura Smith makes red flower petals appear.