Cirque du Soleil Quidam Review - Magic in the Streets

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Cirque du Soleil has once again artfully transformed a bland sporting arena (Sears Centre Arenathis time) into its own unique magical world: QuidamCirque du Soleil’s mission is “to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world,” and Quidam certainly meets Cirque’s lofty goals.

Boom Boom claps his hands and thunder rings out

Ostensibly, Quidam is about a little girl named Zoe who lives with two distracted parents.  One rainy day when she is bored, an odd stranger arrives and leaves a token that allows her to slide into an imaginary world where individuals are noticed and celebrated. 

Zoe, the little girl with the beautiful voice

In all honesty, the story doesn’t really matter; it merely provides an extremely loose framework in which to present some of the most breathtaking acrobatics in the world.

The Germanwheel rolls menacingly around the stage

  Here were some of the highlights: 

The Aerial Contortionist was one of the most spectacular and sensuous performances as she twists the red fabric high above the crowd

One of the first and most beautiful acts was the aerial acrobat  who was suspended from a long, silk band of fabric. As she twisted and climbed, she manipulated the fabric to wrap, swing and spiral herself into and out of various intricate positions.

The diabolo is a Chinese yo-yo. Four tiny women performers juggle a wooden spool on string linked by two sticks

The Diabolos play effortlessly with spools on a string

turning a child’s game into a fascinating art form.

Banquine's high energy performance rouses the crowd

 The group called Banquine is comprised of fifteen artists who performed, high energy sequences of acrobatics and human pyramids. One of the sequences was a jump roping spectacular, led by two jump roping stars who turned their ropes at an unbelievably quick speed.

The high energy leaders of the jump rope portion of the show - a real highlight!

At one point, there were ropes spinning inside ropes spinning inside ropes.

Sometimes there was actually two much disparate action happening on stage.

Breathtaking and amazing, Statue was a crowd favorite

For instance, I was holding my breath during the amazing display of grace and strength of Statue, riveted by their slow moving changes of position when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a large man in a tutu and wig upstage performing an agitated ballet solo straight out of Les Ballets Trockadero.

A disappointment was the Clown.

The Clown entertains with audience volunteers

 Obviously talented and working hard for his laughs, he was given derivative material that seemed unrelated to the loose story of Zoe and her parents. He was also forced to work with “audience volunteers” who went through their paces mechanically. (If people are pretending to be volunteers, couldn’t they pretend to be enthusiastic volunteers?) That said, the little girl behind me as well as many other audience members found both of his scenes hilarious so maybe I have just been to too many circuses!

I miss the intimacy of seeing Cirque du Soleil in the tents they used to perform in but the set byMichel Crete and costumes by Dominique Lemieux are beautiful and evocative in a minimalistic fashion. The music, created by Benoit Jutras, was performed (mainly) by live musicians and vocalists who played off the performer’s movements, allowing movement and music to be kept in perfect in sync. 

As we left Sears Centre, I overheard a family discussing the show, comparing it with the stunts on  America’s Got Talent. The daughter replied, “This was like America’s Got Talent TIMES TEN!!!” 

Performers use the Aerial Rings to dance high above the crowd

WHAT: Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam

WHERE: Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates

WHEN: February 8-12, 2012

            Show Schedule:

            Wednesday, February 8 at 7:30pm

Thursday, February 9 at 7:30pm

Friday, February 10 at 7:30pm

Saturday, February 11 at 3:30pm and 7:30pm

Sunday, February 12 at 1pm and 5pm


Adults: From $35 to $80

Children (12 & Under) From $28- $65

Military, Seniors & Students: From $31.50 to $67.50

(A limited number of Premium Tickets are also available for all performances.) 


Photos: Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil Quidam


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