La Scena Musicale

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Le chant du dindon - Nostalgic Circus Tale Enchants


By Taylor White and Aleshia Jensen 

Le chant du dindon: Until July 24

The North American premiere of Le chant du dindon, performed by the family-run French circus troupe Rasposo, enjoyed a warm reception Tuesday night. Part of Montréal's Complètement Cirque Festival, the intimate performance took place under the company's big top to around 400 spectators of all ages. Amid rich-coloured tapestries, cleverly designed lighting effects and a versatile set the performers tell a seemingly simple family tale of daily circus life, beginning with breakfast and ending around the campfire. The costumes are reminiscent of the early 20th century, and the music is a blend of Slavic and French folk with a slightly contemporary flavour.

The quartet of talented musicians supports the plot development perfectly, interacting with the rest of the cast in feats of contortion, balance and acrobatics. As the cello and its cellist are carried around stage upside-down—with the cellist still playing—the audience realizes how multi-talented these performers really are. Musicians become actors, actors become acrobats, and acrobats become musicians in this seamlessly executed performance. 

Highlights include an exhilarating Chinese pole routine by the graceful and athletic Julien Scholl, a trapeze performance by the Molliens brother-sister duo (son and daughter of actress-director Fanny Molliens and her actor husband Joseph Molliens), as well as solo juggling, hand-to-hand and tightrope performances. Not to mention the live (Quebecois) turkey and gaggle of dogs, who seem as well-trained as their human counterparts.

This enthralling two-hour performance captivated every member of the audience—despite the heat. A must see European import.

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