Correio da manhà (P)
21 July 1999

Humour and poetry in movement
Cirque Plume at the Park of Nations

António Laginha

A year after Expo 98, the famous Cirque Plume is back in our country, on the very site on which they could be seen in "L’harmonie est-elle municipale ?".
The famous group of actors-musician-singer- dancer-tightrope-walking jugglers, "leaping and jumping" in their yellow big-top, once more dazzled all those who came to see them, with their skill, their coming and going, and above all their enormous sense of humour. A circus without clowns to direct operations (neither rich nor poor, those passing through are rather of the "well-off" type), but with fifteen top quality and talented performers, the group founded sixteen years ago in Besançon, is presently doing "Mélanges", an "opéra plume"!
If the concept of opera is extended to include a show with multiple facets of song, music and movement "Mélanges" can be classified as a "rock-opera" accompanied by electric guitars, traditional instruments and others of very original characteristics. A combination of people with different skills who together, bit by bit, put together situations to demonstrate their most unusual talents, "Mélanges", as its name suggests, combines certain roles and acts from past shows with newly created ones - and in particular "Toiles", a "marvellous show" which the Cirque Plume performed

at Algés in 1994 for an international theatre festival. This is why, and even without the element of surprise, this work - while it is considered by some to be more consistent than the last show - does not have the impact of something "seen for the first time".
It is said that the hallmark of this group of entertainers (who sometimes seem to come from another age) is "fragility, exchange and nostalgia", but this is true only if the fragility is limpid, the exchange is sharing and if the nostalgia is modernity and ingenuity. What is sure is that the shows of this circus are a matrix for the future of an art which, with the Cirque Plume, conserves poetry, humour, virtuosity, danger and that indefinable and enormous "clown’s soul".
A reclining man begins "almost" to set fire to the circus and is swiftly saved by an angel. Then, white feathers falling from a feather duster float in a red light which ends up sticking to the nose of a clown who changes into a silhouette. Making use of simple things such a white satin drape which rises and falls to reveal and hide the artistes, "Mélanges" lasts about one hour and a half.
There is also a double bass which takes to the air, an astonishing juggler who plays with balls and bowler hats, an acrobat who mounts and descends two hanging lengths of cloth by the sheer strength of his grip, a tightrope walker on a slack rope, a bicycle which travels about above the heads of the spectators and a woman with a distracted look who pretends that a cellular phone in the audience keeps disturbing her and preventing her from singing, while it is tucked, where else but between her breasts.
On three quite different levels at the back of the stage, the musicians separately or in groups, play and jump on an elastic bed on the ground and the performers come out of the ground or any part of the stage through which they appear and disappear for almost an hour and a half.
You can see this show for little ones, middle and big alike - with its well-polished variety of eclectic, attractive and appropriate music - at 21.30 every evening, on the Open Space near the Vasco de Gama Tower until the 30th.