Géométrie de caoutchouc

4 out of 5 stars
Géométrie de caoutchouc
© Aglae Bory

Much as you’d expect from a visit to the circus, the ‘Géométrie de caoutchouc’ (‘Rubber Geometry’) begins with your view of the big top, its four corners hammered into the soil of Parc de la Villette. But once inside, instead of a ringmaster and a troupe of lions, it’s the same view in miniature: another big top in the middle of the first – a game of Russian dolls that offers the audience a different experience depending on their location on the four corners of the ring.

Once the lights go off, we discover that the little-big-top is full of human figures, whose shadows run along the walls of their tent cocoon and push against its bulging surface; perhaps the most poetic moment in the show. Then, with a few discordant notes of piano music, the figures emerge from their cloth womb. Like Adam and Eve, they are reluctant to leave their Eden, and spend the next hour clambering over the tent to try and find a way back in. But the marquee never stops resisting, obliging them to grip on to cables, launch themselves into the air and flatten themselves onto the billowing canvas. It’s a more intellectual than emotional aesthetic, but worth seeing to make up your own mind.

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