MONTREAL – The festival Montréal complètement Cirque (MCC) announced last week to host an edition a little different named Montreal Almost Circus. Artists circus artists performed in the different boroughs of the metropolis, without notice, in order to avoid too large gatherings. The “24 Hours” has discussed it with Antoine Carabiner Lepine, one of the initiators of the project called Happiness Mobile and a member of the Cirque Alfonse.
At the beginning of the containment, you have to be organized with the stooges parades in Hochelaga that you called the Happiness Mobile. Is it that you have continued this project throughout the containment?
We continued the parades for the whole pandemic until it déconfine. It has 17 parades with different themes each time. It has truly been an amazing time as a project. This is really something that we completed, and our time and our soul, during the pandemic. It changes a little bit at this moment. With the déconfinement, there is a little bit less popular. There are less people in the streets a little. There are more activities that the world can do at this time. It has changed a little bit the “vibe”. When everything started, we wanted to become an NPO, but lately we realized that it is a project that works during the pandemic. It was something really important for us during the confinement, but at the moment it feels a little shortness of breath. One begins to reduce the pace. We also each have our own companies. There is The Skating Free, Machine Circus, and we, the Cirque Alfonse.
Happiness Mobile is now the festival’s Montreal Almost Circus. It’s going to happen how?
It has been seven parades to do with them. We started on Monday in the entertainment District and it continues this week in different districts of the city. It has two themes which are a little broad that it touches the largest number of people possible. We are going to spend in neighborhoods that are really different from each other, then it’s going to be fun to see how people will react. We have three vehicles that are moving with us. We are doing acrobatics, it was a teeterboard, there are also the Cyr wheel and choreography. We try to ship the world the more possible also. There are three musicians “live”, which are in a pick-up. We really want to give happiness to all the world!
How do you prepare for these events?
This is the first time that we have a budget to create the parades. We had three days of creation to mount a parade. It has become a little larger. It has been able to expand the parade to Montreal Almost Circus. It was repeated at the TOHU in the parking lot. It was hot! And it’s been a long time we had not worked. After three months, we were a little rusty, but it comes back really quickly.
With the déconfinement see you a little hope to resume the shows with the Cirque Alfonse?
It is a little complicated and frustrating for us. We see that life takes a little as before, but we, our contracts are cancelled at least until the month of December. We don’t know what will happen. We did not really have the right to practice all together again. It is made of single drives. It is very precarious in the arts in general, but the circus, it’s complicated. You can’t really do the circus without touching. That said, we understand why this is so.
It is true that the circus is an art that does not lend itself too much to the web and to social distancing.
It is difficult to make plans with alienation. It is nice to renew themselves and to try new formulas, but in the end, it is still a living art. It will not always be able to do duets or solos. We can’t wait get back to it a little bit to normal. Personally, I do not like what is on the social networks. What we did triper in the parades, it was to have a contact with a real public. You could see the smiles on the faces of people who saw us pass and we put on a smile we also! I think that one of the arts to have a feedback from the public and I think that’s what we lack the most.
As a circus artist, you have to be very often toured abroad. Is it weird to be so long in Montreal?
Normally, you do not spend more than two-three weeks in Montreal. We left about eight months of the year. To be stuck in Quebec for 3-4 months and probably more, it is sure that it is special. We discover our neighborhood! We discover the narrow streets, the neighborhood, etc, Just in our alley behind, we met a lot of people that we would never have met without the pandemic. It’s nice to see that everyone help each other. It opens doors, I think. In any case, it opens the communication with the neighbourhood. This is a positive point of the COVID!
That is what we can wish you for the following things?
I think what we could wish for us is to keep alive the art of living, to be able to continue to make “shows” for the world. We hope that people continue to be interested in the art and they are increasingly interested in discovering new business and new ways to make the item