L’Humanité Dimanche
11 October 2018

Cirque Plume | A time for farewells

Cirque Plume - Le temps des adieux | L'Humanité Dimanche (presse_lds) {PDF}

For more than thirty years, Cirque Plume has been presenting shows that are free of conventions, reaching towards different types of performing arts. Before folding up its big top, the pioneering “nouveau cirque” company is making the rounds one last time with a brazen and joyous tour. Bye, artists!

A final tour and then they’re gone. Alas, this is not a goodbye but a farewell. But since one must live in the present, Cirque Plume, a fine team of crazy circus folk from the Jura who’ve been at this since 1984, are having a "Dernière Saison." But enough nostalgia and melancholy. As usual, the actors and musicians of the troupe blithely mix fantasy with acrobatics. Five years after "Tempus Fugit," which was already a reflection on time, "La Dernière Saison” questions the future of the planet. Elements of nature are omnipresent, materialized through a giant canvas that symbolizes the forest, and, we are told, was painted in one. According to the mischievous artists, the piece was left out in the woods for seven years, at the mercy of climatic hazards.

"La Dernière Saison", the troupe’s twelfth and last production, questions the future of the planet, and evokes the weather and the passing of time. Circus folk young and old pass the torch as they parade on and off the stage.

On stage, Cirque Plume has paved a path at the edges of theater, concert and physical performance. Without a linear narrative or a real sequence of acts, the artists allow themselves some recurring gags. To be certain, not everything works. But in a self-deprecating showdown, the founding members stand aside young and toned bodies and joyfully flaunt themselves in their briefs, some of them exposing some prominent bellies, others offering the audience some sagging skin. But morals sticklers can rest reassured: there is nothing to make a fuss about. On the contrary, in the performance hall, adults and children laugh together.
"La Dernière Saison" remains circus, replete with its package of spectacular elements. The show presents a handing over of the torch, as circus folk young and old face and challenge each other. Acrobatics is possible no matter one’s age. The difference lies in the execution. Accompanying the antics of Bernard Kudlak — author and director of the show — and his gang are musicians. Led by Benoit Schick, they set a tone of jazz, rock and Africanized sounds, the genres following one another in harmony. Cirque Plume has aged but has remained alert, happy, and alive.