On entering beneath the Big-Top this Wednesday in Paris, we find ourselves in an eatery where we consume regional specialities from the Franche-Comté: Montbéliard sausages with potatoes and comté-cheese tart, all accompanied with a nice Côtes du Jura. At a small table nearby, the singer Zazie is eating with her parents.
Now its time to enter the tent and find the best seat and observe the arriving masses, we even get the traditional Montbéliardais quarter hour.
A grand piano floats above but drops a metre every time that three feathers fall on it. Finally, there they are: acrobats, musicians, clowns, technicians; they know how to do everything, and so they deal with everything. Above all these artists know how to make us laugh, cry (with laughter too), be afraid and be moved. Objects will not be mastered and sometimes gets out of hand, like the frightening tsunami of cloth which unwinds itself over the front few rows of the audience. The world won’t stay calm and it’s up to the clown to bring it back under order. This young woman can’t quite reach the summit of the 10 metre high beam; she nearly gets there but falls back each time.
Yet she gets there in the end with pure gracefulness.
The violinist’s sheet music flies away; no matter, he too takes to the air in hot pursuit. The ground raises up in indescribable chaos, the musicians go and have a look, the ring carries off the acrobat with devilish ballet-like turns, the nasty luminous snake transforms itself into a set of Christmas tree lights.
The thousand or so spectators (a full-house tonight) are on their feet, applauding Cirque Plume, who started out in Montbéliard thirty years ago, and now they are here celebrating their anniversary at the Villette Park, Paris for three months.