Sunday, July 28, 2013
In a tentless production, Cirque returns to NY with the long-running Quidam for a short stint at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn.
Quidam, which means "anonymous passerby" originally opened in 1996, converting to its current format for arena staging in 2010 (thanks, Wikipedia!).
When I first discovered Cirque years ago, I was a huge fan, anxiously waiting to find out when the next tour would be performing nearby. After the third or fourth production, however, my enthusiasm waned. Perhaps the novelty had worn off compared to the ticket price.
The various acts are ostensibly connected with a through-line story of Zoe, "...bored yet curious, and she longs for the fun and excitement she believes lie just beyond her reach." Based on how the ensemble moves from white-hooded oompa-loompas to dirty ragged eastern Euro ghetto residents, I failed to connect the fun and excitement. The most intriguing aspect I found was the aerial rigging system created for this arena version which allows performers to fly in from behind the stage, or remain suspended for extended periods of time.
Of the elements, the ensemble acts fared best in an impressive double-dutch rope jumping segment early in Act 1, and a tumbling/balancing/acrobatic piece at the end described as a Banquine. The hand balancing, aerial silks, aerial ropes and hoops acts were all merely interesting. Even the balancing pair, stripped to their skivvies lacked enough sensuality to raise it to truly remarkable. More disappointing was the clown routine, which I'm pretty sure I had seen in another Cirque production along the way.
On a related note, this was my first visit to the Barclay's Center. Subway transportation to and from is particularly easy and the facility is quite impressive.
This stop on the tour ends on July 28.