Friday, August 13, 2010
Went to the circus last night. Ditte tells me Cirque Trottola is an exponent of New Circus, which mostly uses human performers. Cirque du Soleil is new circus, but extremely high-budget and gorgeous. Cirque Trottola has a punk feel, a Violent-Femmes-on-the-sidewalk version of the circus. Minimal, lean, stripped down. A return to the roots of human spectacle. 5 performers in a tiny tent that seated maybe 300 people. One strong man, one juggler, and an androgynous female acrobat ( "voltigeuse" on the CD) who looked like a tiny Rod Stewart, performing in trio and various duets. Occasional solo pieces, including a really memorable one by the juggler, who animated a dress hung on a stand that he balanced on the end of his push-broom. Ghostly and forlorn, like something out of Magritte. All sounds done live by two brilliant multi-instrumentalists playing detuned electric guitar, found percussion, violin and keyboards. Nobody spoke or ever changed costume. All characters, costumes and fragmented narratives reminiscent of Waiting for Godot. Or is it that Waiting for Godot is based on the imagery of the low-budget circus? A revelation for me, anyway. Bought the CD from the guitarist/percussionist Thomas Barriere who was hawking it by the tent exit with the violinist/keyboardist Bastien Pelenc (more punk aesthetics)! Should have got the CD signed. No fanboy/collector instincts, me. Oh well.