Friday, May 8, 2015

Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque

Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque  Contemporary Circus produced by Tim Lawson and Simon Painter at Canberra Theatre Centre, May 6-10, 2015.

Reviewed by Frank McKone
May 6

Master of Ceremonies: Salvador Salangsang Jr
I could get all academic about the nature of contemporary circus, but for Le Noir it would only be to point out that like many shows going back to Circus Oz and Cirque du Soleil, the costumes and style of presentation have a theme. 

Le Noir is actually ‘Le Blanc et Le Noir’, white for the first half and black for the second (much shorter) half, with a French feel established by the comedic clown MC Salvador Salangsang Jr as a background to a sexy presentation of the circus acts.

In fact, as opposed to the tendency of others, like James Thiérrée, to become pretentious as if his circus is high art about significant social themes, Le Noir is pure seductive entertainment with no other purpose beyond showing off the skills of the trapeze, balancing, twirling, contortion and gymnastic performers.  Just relax and ooh and aah as appropriate.  Clap, cheer and whistle as impossible feats are successfully achieved.  Just like the capacity audience on opening night. 

Thoroughly enjoyable, though I did have to plug my ears most of the time to defend them against damage from the sound system.

But watching and recognising the excellent work of the performers made the evening well worthwhile.  Having been to the circus since my infant days in a different society of long ago, I have to say I still miss the animals.  But that’s life, I suppose.

Elena Gatilova                            Anna Ostapenko

Marie-Christine Fournier & Louis-David Simoneau         Yuliia Lytvynchuk & Valerii Volynets

Gediminas Pavolvicius                     Denis Ignatov-Radokhov

David Matz             Valeri Tsvetkov & Yani Stoyanov

Daria Shelest & Vadym Pankeych     Jeronimo Ernesto Garcia Medina & Jessica Anne Ritchie