Justfocus12 October 2018
La Dernière Saison: Cirque Plume invites us to its farewell party
After 30 years of making us dream, Cirque Plume is taking its final bow with an intense, festive, funny and poetic performance. The troupe’s unique world is onstage at L’espace chapiteaux at the Villette through December 30.
A departure without nostalgia: pure poetry and joviality
Cirque Plume has pitched its big top eight times at La Villette since 1991. Now, audiences are invited once again, this time for a farewell party. Even before the show begins, spectators are on the tip of their toes, eager to discover Cirque Plume’s latest production, with emotions running high as they prepare to watch their final show. For whether we’ve been following the troupe for years or we’re seeing them for the first time, we all know they’ve come to say goodbye.
But the audience is very quickly put at ease, as a mysterious atmosphere takes hold in show’s opening: a world of Jura forests mixing nature with banter, majesty with fear. Then joy takes reign. We are invited to enter a magical and poetic world of monsters and elves. Thanks to an inventive and evolving set, beautifully crafted lighting, songs played live, as usual, and of course, virtuosic circus, Cirque Plume offers us "a show of joy — simple and colorful.”
The artists are hybrid creatures: half-men, half-animals. They switch from slapstick comedy to poetry in the space of a guitar note. In the air, moving about the stage, or atop a wire: acts of prowess unfold as the seasons pass. We may sometimes wish that the humor was a little more subtle and less redundant, but this is largely offset by the mysterious and aesthetic atmosphere that carries this Dernière Saison . A touch of melancholy and delicacy and we are wrapped up in a dream.
30 years later, the Cirque Plume spirit lives on
Beyond the prowess of the artists, it is Cirque Plume’s signature touch that resonates throughout the circus tent. In 1984, brothers Bernard and Pierre Kudlak created a circus with seven friends in a black box theatre: a proscenium theatre, breaking with the traditional codes of circus. The frontal configuration facilitates stage exits and entrances as well as theatricals tricks of illusion, allowing the troupe to immerse their spectators in its particular poetic and musical world. The frontal format is especially useful for playing with shadows and light.
La Dernière Saison is also a hymn to the ethos of Cirque Plume: "the spirit of celebration, politics, dreams, poetry, music and bodies, all with grassroots, non-violent kind of brotherly love.” A combination that they have mastered without any doubt.
Tempus Fugit spoke of the passage of time. Here, that time is transposed into nature, with the four seasons. It’s a way for Cirque Plume to echo our ecological concerns. For certain, they play here on the power of trees, the majesty of snow, and power of the wind, but the poetry of the elements ensures we don’t lose sight of their fragility. Our conscience is titillated even when a pile of plastic bags pours down on the stage, full of color and lightness: through poetry, laughter and beauty, the message gets across.
Not quite over yet...
Let’s not say goodbye too quickly. La Dernière Saison will be playing at la Villette through the end of December. Then it will go on the road throughout France and beyond until 2020. After all, in the space of 30 years, Cirque Plume will have given dreams to two million spectators. It takes time to say goodbye to everyone!
By the end of the tour, the Kudlak brothers will be over 65 years old, but they do not regret anything, and they “do not want to be doing tired shows.” And they are overseeing the transmission with wisdom: "You will share other eternities with other artists. With those who play in this Dernière Saison, I have no doubt. We will always be with you. Maybe even sitting by your side on the too-hard bleachers of a circus tent in full swing. We have not stopped moving and being moved.”
Do not miss this Dernière Saison under any circumstance!