With their star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Cirque de Soleil—well reputed for not using animals and relying on theatrics—promises to “evoke the imagination, invoke the senses and provoke […] emotions.”
Their performance of Quidam (Latin for anonymous passerby) brings the audience into the creative mind of young girl, Zoé. However, the content itself isn’t entirely for children. Especially during the first half, many moments feel slow and sensual. Performers twist, turn and almost fly into a multitude of hula hoops. Most seductively, the aerial contortion piece has a woman in a nude colored costume performing from a red, silk rope and at one point, hanging from it as if it were a noose. The music feels New Age and haunting. After a short intermission, the show picks up so much so that I forget to observe my fellow audience members. The statue sequence has two artists balancing their bodies perfectly on top of one another (no hands!). You can see every trembling muscle in their bodies’ move and feel afraid to make a noise and break their concentration.
However, the highlight of the show by far is the clown participation piece when people chosen from the audience are prompted to act out a skit in front of the entire crowd. We seriously laughed our butts off when the young man on a date made all the motions of riding the shy-looking random woman. It was a clearly a moment where I wondered how embarrassed I would feel if I were her.
While I suspect the experience is quite different seated further away and perhaps not as thrilling the second time around, I congratulate Quidam on stimulating my imagination and senses, and provoking… Well, laughter and a vicarious experience of embarrassment for sure.