Télérama Sortir
26 September 2018

Decryption - Last round along the circus ring

Décryptage. Un dernier tour de piste | Télérama Sortir (presse_lds) {PDF}

Through a compendium its art, Cirque Plume — currently at La Villette — offers a poetic and joyful farewell.

WHAT? After Toiles, Plic Ploc, and L’Atelier du peintre, among others, La Dernière Saison is the twelfth and last major production by Cirque Plume. The company was one of the pioneers of “nouveau cirque” in France in the 1980s. The title refers at once to time, the state of the weather, the cycle of the seasons, the relationship between man and nature, and the relationship between the tree and the forest, “in a world in which we try to urbanize and industrialize our lives and our thoughts,” according to Bernard Kudlak, 64, artistic director and co-founder of the Franche-Comté company.

WHO? Seventeen artists from different generations are on stage: founders such as Pierre Kudlak (Bernard’s brother), familiar faces like saxophonist Jacques Marquès and the performer and zoomorphic acrobat Cyril Casmèze — seen with Plume in the 1990s — as well as young circus performers and dancers recruited through an international casting process.

HOW? Under a big top, but on a stage like at the theatre, La Dernière Saison takes us with creativity down a path through everything the company has brought to the circus world since 1983: poetry created through shadow puppetry, the moon hovering above the artists, joy thanks to the mobile musicians, and the voice and humor of circus artists. As always, the acrobatic moments upon the circus apparatuses (Chinese pole, aerial hoop, tight wire) form scenes full of sensitivity and life.

WHY? “After 1968, we thought we wouldn’t grow any older!” admits Bernard Kudlak. “Now we think it’s good to have the freedom to decide to stop. That transmission has been made. But we experience each show in the present moment, sharing it with the audience.” Following its eighth run at La Villette since 1991, Cirque Plume will tour La Dernière Saison throughout France and Belgium in 2019.

Stéphanie Barioz

Cirque Plume – La Dernière saison

After having revolutionized the performing world of the 1980s, after having made its poetic mark on what was called “nouveau cirque”, Plume has declared its final bow with this eleventh opus. A play on words in a show about the passing of seasons, the company offers here an ecological fable, full of winks towards past productions: umbrellas, shadow puppetry, the moon, and games with color. On the tight wire, on aerial hoop, on Chinese pole, and through ground acrobatics and contortion, fourteen performers form poetic and musical circus scenes, exalting art, freedom, dreams, friendship, and the beauty of nature, with touches of humor (children ages five and up).

Stéphanie Barioz