|CIRCUS ON CAMPUS|
REVIEW by Willard Manus
is Cirque du Soleil without the pretentiousness and production overkill.
The company was formed in 1993 by seven young graduates of Montreal's
Circus School with the mission of performing intimate shows in theatres
rather than under the big top. Cirque Eloize (pronounced El-wah) was a
success from the start and has since evolved its own style, a blend of
circus arts, dance and music. Its 1999 show was something of an extravaganza,
but now Cirque Eloize has gone back to its small-is-beautiful roots with
NOMADE, which recently played at UCLA's Royce Hall.
That pretty much
sums up the narrative arc of the show, which
In the end, though, what makes "alternative" circuses like ELOIZE and SOLEIL work are the individual feats of the performers and clowns. NOMADE'S stand-out acts were the contortionist Genevieve Gauthier, trapezist Suzanne Soler, clowns Bartlomiej Soroczynski and Nicholas Leresche, and the pole-climbing Stefan Wepfer, but in a way it's unfair to single them out, if only because everyone in the company is so gifted, one minute juggling and tumbling, the next tootling on a horn and singing his heart out.
NOMADE'S imaginative turns, its combination of dreaminess and joie de vivre, make it a must-see show for young and old alike.
(Cirque Eloize is touring the USA through Jan. 2003, returning to Montreal for the Highlight Festival and a tour of Quebec. In April the circus travels around Europe, finishing in London in August.)