Le Cirque Invisible (Chaplin and Thiérée)
Posted by dlandgren on 2008-10-20
We took the children to see Le Cirque Invisible, by Victoria Chaplin and Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée this weekend.
If the name rings a bell, yes, Victoria is indeed the daughter of Charles.
The performance was sublime. Chaplin and Thiérée take it in turns on the stage, with some numbers lasting no more than a dozen seconds. This in itself is an extraordinary piece of high-precision choreography. Thiérée plays the clown, looking ever so much like an affable Benny Hill. Chaplin plays the more whimsical parts, full of grace and poetry.
The costumes are superb, as is the musical score, an intersection of Glass, Nyman and Reich. A number of Chaplin’s pieces involve taking a costume and transforming it into something else, such as a bodice becoming a horse’s head and thus what begins as her walking on stage as a person ends up one of any number of creatures and much of the excitement comes from anticipating what it will be this time.
The scene where Chaplin plays a one-woman-band (see photo) is simply extraordinary. In this regard the performance reminded me a lot of the whimsy of Cirque Plume, with a quite sense of understatement so lacking in Canada’s Cirque du Soleil.
If you ever hear that they are on tour in your part of the world, you really must go and see them. It’s one of the most beautiful things it’s been my chance to see.