For over a year, Cirque Plume has being going plic. And ploc (drip and drop). After more than a year on tour, Plic Ploc, the company’s eighth creation, is finally planting its big-top at La Villette (in the 19th quarter in Paris) until November 27. A pioneer since the early 1980’s of that which we are accustomed to calling "new circus", the troupe has brushed off the traditional sawdust and imposed its own universe. Funny, poetic, and joyous, we are far from gaudy technique. It is all about the imagination, not a sporty demonstration. Their shows, directed by Bernard Kudlak, have been filling us with joy for over twenty years, and Plic Ploc is no exception. Everything starts with one drop of water. It falls and makes a plic sound. The second drop makes a ploc sound... that in itself is enough to improvise a curious aquatic piece that gives rhythm to two hours of an irresistibly humid show. The water seeps in and invites itself on to the stage, obliging the performers to interrupt their acts. That is were the Cirque Plume’s humour lies, because water gushes out from where we least expect it, and repairing the leak becomes a number in itself. It is funny and magical when an acrobat climbs a ladder to tighten a bolt, then surprising and magnificent when another discovers the he can juggle with water jets propelled from the floor. To think that water could become a circus apparatus! This puts a new spin on everything we’ve seen before and the Cirque Plume performers master it to perfection.
Whether Korean cradle, teeterboard, aerial rings or contortion that’ll raise the hair on the back of your neck, a dozen acrobats drench their magnificent costumes to the rhythm of festive music by the dependable Robert Miny. The joy is there, and any egotism is interrupted and quenched by the water. "Circus is a nostalgia for paradise lost", declares a slightly out-dated master of ceremonies who is immediately doused by water. The audience, on the other hand, is swimming in happiness.