Cirque du Soleil still dazzles with ECHO
MISE À DAY
A show that will appeal to young and old alike. Once again, Cirque du Soleil has succeeded in its mission to entertain and dazzle the public, in its new creation under the marquee ECHO, whose world premiere was held Thursday evening in the Old Port.
The creation of this new show was not a long calm river for the Cirque. The company was first to launch its marquee production in 2020 with the name of Under the same sky. We had hired the famous British scenographer Es Devlin to lead the boat to port. But echoes from behind the scenes reported that the boat was taking on water…
The arrival of the pandemic allowed the creative team to clean up and return to the drawing board. Choreographer Mukhtar Omar Sharif Mukhtar came to the rescue to stage this production. And the marriage worked.
ECHO is the first original creation under the big top for Cirque since 2017, with VOLTA. In 2019, the company presented Alegria, in the Old Port of Montreal, then KOOZA, last year.
ECHOcontains several “wow!” which is our main criterion to know if a show is successful or not. In fact, from the start of the show, one can only be impressed by the gigantic cube that is at the back of the stage. This enormous structure, an idea of Es Devlin which has been kept, is rather unusual for a Cirque show under a marquee and is more of a creation in residence in Las Vegas, so imposing is it.
And the cube is used in all sauces throughout the evening. It first serves as a screen, then some pieces are removed to empty it. Artists perform numbers on its different sides, as in the impressive opening number with a discipline called acrodance.
It is also a technical glitch in relation to the use of this cube which would have forced the Cirque team to temporarily stop Thursday's performance after only two numbers. This was very bad timing for a world premiere! But after five minutes, everything was back to normal and the show was back on track.
Among the numbers to remember, the one that received some of the warmest applause was a number called Extraction, which includes two Ethiopian artists who make Icarian games. Speed of execution, precision, everything was there and the public did not hesitate to show their appreciation.
Other Ethiopian artists also delivered one of the best acts of the evening, with the human framework for Résister & express yourself. You had to see them all smiling and dancing between the acrobatics. Contagious good humor!
A contortionist from the Congo also made the crowd wince with his movements that a normal human simply cannot reproduce.
Who says Cirque du Soleil also says “clowns”. Some past shows had given us so-called comic segments that were rather unsuccessful or quickly forgettable. With ECHO, the two “clowns” on duty are very skilled and presented a rather impressive number with stacked boxes that almost touched the ceiling of the marquee!
And the story of the show, in all this? As with most Cirque creations, it is rather abstract and secondary in our appreciation of the whole. According to the show's booklet, ECHO tells the story of Future, a young woman who discovers that her choices “have the potential to influence the world as they progress through the stages. of evolution. »
Despite a music quite interchangeable with any Cirque show, and some numbers with disciplines already seen in the past, we classify ECHO in the Cirque du Soleil good hits section.
ECHO will be presented in the Old Port of Montreal until August 20. cirquedusoleil.com.