"Quidam" presented by Cirque du Soleil at Barclay's Center, July 25, 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.
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.