8 October 2005

"Plic Ploc" in tepid water

Circus . Well strung together and of rare finesse, Cirque Plume’s show goes fishing with simple-minded poetry.

Bruno Masi

"Plic Ploc" en eau douce | Libération (presse_plicploc) {JPEG}

For its return to Paris, after multiples tours to all four corners of the earth, Cirque Plume has chosen water as its central theme for its new production. Plic Ploc is a story about leaks, water droplets falling on the stage or in pots and pans, slipping and sliding on a wet curtain, and umbrellas transformed into a ferocious beast. The idea came to Bernard Kudlak, founder of the historic group of "new circus", during a series of shows in the heart of New York in July 2001.
Internal disturbance.
As it says in the program: "An immense arrangement of external pipes to condition the air in the big-top to 23 degrees centigrade so it
was acceptable for the audience in the Big Apple. Meanwhile, the President of the U.S. refuses to sign the Kyoto Accord, which combats climactic disturbance."
As a result the artistic director imagined an internal climactic disturbance, as if the big-top suddenly started taking on water. Plic Ploc has played for over a year before coming to La Villette, and it is a well-oiled machine. The acrobats show mastery close to excellence in their lifts or on the teeterboard. A world-music inspired group plays permanently on stage, giving rhythm to the different scenes and movements: the spirals of the houdou, fire incantations, the grating sound of the synthesizer, and the flip flops of water accentuate the company’s entrances and exits.
"Standing ovation". It is a work of rare finesse, where the metronomes sowed on the stage answer to the rain that falls from the ceiling, where the effects create ripples of excitement in the tent. A man in a rain suit flies away in a gust of wind, a young woman caresses herself in a rosary of rings, and Kudlak approaches perfection. A couple draws a heart on the stage, Gisèle struggles with the plumbing, and the audience finishes on their feet for a standing ovation, ready to undress in order to share communion. One could also end up not feeling impacted by this mixture of slightly ridiculous images, and pass the time with an empty head, as if in buddhist meditation.