Mamatoga Review: Cirque Éloize at Proctor's Theater

CIRKOPOLIS CIRQUE ELOIZE Circo Circolo 13 okt 2012  foto Joke Schot  (7) (Large)_0Wednesday night we got the chance to check out Cirque Éloize (sirk el-WAHS) at Proctor's Theater and we took both Finn and Lev to see the show. We got our first glimpse of the performance earlier this year at SaratogaArtsFest when a few of the performers came to give a sneak peek and that was when Finn and Lev first got hooked, so they were pretty excited to see the full blown show. First, a little background. Cirque Éloize is a Quebec-based contemporary circus troupe founded in 1993 by Jeannot Painchaud, Daniel Cyr and Julie Hamelin. Having created seven original productions so far, it has presented more than 3000 performances in more than 375 cities and 30 countries. Éloize means "heat lightning" in Acadian French.

This performance, Cirkopolis, combines the worlds of circus, dance, and theater. With the backdrop of a gloomy and soulless city, giant gears are the symbols of an oppression that crushes creativity and individuality. Twelve acrobats and multidisciplinary artists rebel against this monotony and insert their own bursts of life and color into the grey landscape. The circus is full of jugglers, contortionists, aerial artists, and more.

First off, Proctor's is just so beautiful. It feels special to just sit in that theater, and the kids were pretty taken with the gorgeous ceiling even before the performance began. The giant screen behind the performers served as an amazing backdrop, where city-scapes would present themselves and would magically zoom in and out making you feel like you were traveling with the performers into another world, the kids were absolutely mesmerized by the screen, and so was I. It was almost like a movie screen, with a new "scene" for each performance, and watching it zoom in or out was similar to being in an IMAX theater. The scenes were both fast and slow, some were quiet with more poignant music, others were really upbeat, the kids almost leaping out of their seats to clap along. There was comedy too (the kids loved the part where the "boss" dances with the dress, pictured above), laughs, and gasps as the performers pulled off some really incredible feats.

The stark grey backdrop was splashed with little doses of color, made more vibrant by the performers wearing the color, and their outfits and performances popped all the more so against the dreary grey gears and buildings backdrops. A girl would appear on stage in a red dress and it was like the most brilliant red dress you had ever seen on a stage.

To be honest with you though, what I liked best was when the performers messed up just a bit. There was a fantastic juggling part where this one performer was juggling spools on a big thread and at the end he dropped two of them, but his heart, and his energy were just so on point I swear he got an even bigger applause because of the way he handled dropping them (like a total pro) than he would have gotten if he had nailed the whole performance. You could really tell that these kids were so into giving you their all, and that made a big difference for the audience. Don't get me wrong, they did some truly amazing and astounding things for sure. Be prepared to be absolutely amazed by what these kids can pull off.

The show is a perfect time for families, an hour and twenty minutes with no intermission which goes by faster than you would think, and it is a great mix of upbeat and slower to captivate even younger kids. Finn and Lev sat with rapt attention even during the quieter scenes and by the time they were tugging on my sleeve to go to the bathroom it was already time for it to be over. There were a lot of kids in the audience on opening night too, lots of cheers, and it was all topped off with a standing ovation for this great performance, which we heartily joined in on.

To purchase tickets for Cirque Éloize click right here.

{Finn and Lev, 6 years old and 5 years old, heartily enjoyed this show and I would recommend the show to anyone with kids that age and older. Sean and I both really enjoyed it and it would make a fantastic date night out as well!}