Le Dauphiné Libéré
4 March 2018

Cirque Plume : "All life carries in itself an end"

Cirque Plume : « Toute vie porte en elle sa fin » | Le Dauphiné Libéré (presse_lds) {PDF}
SPECTACLE | The company, which has been hosted by Grand Angle since 2002, has decided to close its doors.

Cirque Plume is returning to the Grand Angle to perform its latest production, “La dernière saison.” The show will tour until 2020, at which point, after 34 years of poetry, the company will disappear. Artistic Director Bernard Kudlak spoke to us, consoling us and talking about the spirit of Cirque Plume and its connection with Voiron.

Why do you come to Voiron more often than to the bigger cities nearby?
“Cirque Plume is a company that is loyal to its partners. And playing in a sma
ll town — something we do not do often — is consistent with our beliefs. We should revitalize medium-sized cities and stop enlarging huge cities full of power."

Your six shows at Grand Angle are sold-out. Are you touched?
“It’s a great pleasure to have built a loyal following over the past 20-plus years. It’s a great joy and an incredible privilege. Wherever we go, houses are full. In Caen, there were 16 sold-out performances and the director of the theatre thought he could have booked ten more. It was a desire, a choice and a hope that we had: to create shows that could bring together all age groups and social classes in a demanding piece. Vilar’s dream of making elitists show for all drove us a little.”

Your political positions are still relevant thirty years later. Having never hired lions or tigers, do you find yourself involved in the movement against circus animals?
“Our society is exterminating all species. It is at this moment that one says, ‘It is not good that there is a lion in a circus.’ But we keep on with commerce, with hallucinating pollution, with industrial fishing present on half of the seas of the globe. The problem is the hyper-consumption of everything. This is killing us. These problems interest us. Hyper-consumption, hyper-pollution, hyper-concentration of powers in hyper-cities where no one has their feet on the ground. Everyone is above the ground!”

Do you feel you are outside of this society?
“Everyone is in society, but in different places. Those who think they are on the outskirts are in! To tour our circus, we have ten semi-trailers. We are part of the story. Things are complex and paradoxical."

It’s truly the right time to leave…
“But all life carries in itself an end. Nothing escapes this! Even galaxies! And so, we are calm.”

You never use the word retirement in your interviews. Do you not like it?
“We are going to continue to live, to be artists, but we will no longer run a company with 40 people, ten semi-trailers… it’s pretty heavy! Really! But I prefer the Spanish word for retirement: jubilación. When I am asked what we will do next, I say, ‘After this, I am returning to poetry.’ That’s what I’m going to try to do. It’s not easy."

But you have been doing this all your life!
(Laughs) "Yes, I know, but I have fun saying that."

Interviewed by Célia AMPHOUX

An explosion of emotions in “La dernière saison”

It was an interlude. A dream, shared with the audience of the Grand Angle on Friday evening. Cirque Plume gave its first show (out of six) in Voiron of its “Dernière saison.” The 14 artists onstage offered two hours of poetry. The musicians, acrobats and clowns moved on stage to the rhythm of the seasons. Playful draping, lighting and shadows created an enchanting atmosphere.
The show was an explosion of emotions. We laughed with the incredible "zoomorphic acrobat" who imitated a monkey and a horse to perfection. And we laughed again at the contest of big stomachs! We were moved by the delicateness and beauty of the artist balancing on her Chinese pole. We shuddered while watching the contortionist’s legs. We were impressed by the multitude of ingenious small discoveries: brooms that become skis, suitcases taken for musical instruments, umbrellas that light up. And then we shed a tear during the finale, set to the tune of a melancholic music box. Spectators young and old were conquered. Everyone rose for an ovation at the end of the show.