Culture Cirque
11 October 2018

A moment of joy

L'HEURE DE LA JOIE | Culture Cirque (presse_lds) {PDF}A strange sensation emerges from the audience. A kind of excitement, serenity, mixed with sweet nostalgia. Cirque Plume, whose audiences claim unwavering loyalty, is currently performing its farewell show in Paris. These eight runs at La Villette will be their last. Many do not want to believe it. Some prefer not to talk about it. On the table are joy, poetry, the irresistible. For this dernière saison, the company welcomes its audiences into the lands of the Jura. Scene after scene, the intensity of this sublime forest — as dreamlike as it is realistic — permeates the audience with soft artistic breaths. Each character is endearing, mysterious. A minimalist tribe who harness the seasons, like explorers of a contained world. From prowess to prowess, everyone sneaks from one branch to another, taking advantage of every moment for some delicious dance steps among the leaves on the ground.
Our hearts were undoubtedly conquered by an aerial hoop number, brilliantly performed by Analia Serenelli. A true female “Tarzanne” of the Jura, she performed an aerial solo choreographed with varying geometric shapes, all of a very high technicality, in total union with the atmosphere around her. The acrobatic movements merged so perfectly, it was like we had only seen one. We were equally won over by Anaëlle Molinario who, beyond performing a carefully researched contortion act, also offered the audience a hilarious sketch from which we still haven’t recovered. As for the rest, talent and nothing but talent: from wire to acrobatics to Chinese pole, the show features a flawless cast. So whom should we hand the microphone to? Because everyone deserves it. We have decided on Cyril Casmèze, zoomorphic artist. Yes, zoomorphic. This is how it is presented in the company’s press file. We had many other qualifiers up our sleeve: amazing, surprising, bestial, hilarious. But we will go with zoomorphic. His talent is unique, totally incredible. If some say that he imitates animals to perfection, we would tend to say that he does not quite imitate them, not exactly. Fascinating. Simply fascinating.

► Culture Cirque caught up with the zoomorphic artist of “La dernière saison,” Cyril Casmèze, for a flash interview.

Culture Cirque - Hello Cyril. Cirque Plume is one of those rare companies that everyone loves. What do you think is the miracle ingredient that makes these shows so extraordinary?
Cyril Casmèze - In every show, there is always beautiful teamwork, with a real exchange of skills and a deep, authentic and happy mix of genres. Along with this, there is the chance to have a comfortable amount of time to create a new show every few years. And certainly a real "Plume spirit" prevails — one that has stayed true and hasn’t gone astray with different trendy effects.
Culture Cirque - What exactly does a "zoomorphic artist” mean?
Cyril Casmèze – I prefer the expression “zoomorphic performer.” First and foremost, I’m an acrobatic actor. But sure, why not "zoomorphic artist” — why dispute the facts? So, zoomorphic means taking the form of animals: embodying the infinite variation of shapes, colors, movements and behaviors offered in the animal world and not in the human world. Hopefully, in this way, we can actually talk about humans, or simply about being alive.
Culture Cirque - Which animals you inspire the most?
Cyril Casmèze - Bears, horses, wild boars, apes. And why not squirrels.
Culture Cirque - How did you develop your character in "La dernière saison"?
Cyril Casmèze - I discussed some ideas I wanted to explore and various concerns with the artistic director of the company, Bernard Kudlak. In response to what was happening on stage, or to the acts or the scenes pre-written by Bernard Kudlak, I tried out and suggested different scenes or situations, and worked on them until it became clear if they were relevant or irrelevant.
Culture Cirque - Cyril, one last word before the Cirque Plume adventure ends. What will it be?
Cyril Casmèze - I understand that things come to an end one day or another. So yes, it’s a little sad that such an adventure that has attracted so many spectators is ending, but it will stay in many peoples’ hearts and memories, not to mention in some manuscripts, and, meanwhile, the artists who participated in this adventure will go to join others. Is that not the essence of this job?

“La dernière saison” by Cirque Plume. Currently at La Villette, then on tour throughout France.

Reporting by Antoine Cortel
Photo by Benoit Dochy