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German Wheel
Dans l'Air
Aerial Contortion
Hula Hoop (John)
Skipping Ropes
Aerial Hoops
Entr'acte (Égaré)
Darts (John)
Spanish Webs
Coatrack (John)

Dance Trapeze

Aerial Strap (Solo)
Aerial Strap (Duo)
Cyr Wheel
Cloud Swing
Trapeze Duplex





John, our guide for the evening, can be found on stage, the space set as a typical family sitting room – two slanted, metallic chairs, a curvy floor lamp, a birdcage (with a red ball perched in the bird’s spot), an old-style transistor radio sitting comfortably upon a side table, and a swirl-patterned throw-rug are dotted about – and we watch as John busies himself about this rather unremarkable room. The radio catches John’s eye, however, and he saunters over, flipping it on and filling the big-top with a nice, light tango. Satisfied with his selection, John then proceeds to run amok: carousing with audience members as they come through the doorway, playing with their hair (or lack-thereof in some cases), taking patrons on a wild goose chase with their tickets, eating others’ popcorn and generally being a playful nuisance.He is followed by a troupe of characters dressed head-to-toe in white, hooded suits (Les Chiennes Blanches). Of course this group picks an unwilling volunteer from the audience, takes him backstage and brings him out dressed as one of them. John harasses him a little and sends him back to his seat.

As the house lights dim, John returns to the radio and attempts to find something new to lift our spirits and we see just what kind of ham John really aspires to be. Passing through the frequencies, he lands upon a station playing the soothing notes of "Kumbalawé", a song from Saltimbanco, an older (chronologically speaking) Cirque du Soleil show. When that does not elicit a response from his audience, he turns the dial and blasts the harsh overture of "Eclipse" from Nouvelle Expérience (an even older Cirque du Soleil show, chronologically speaking). Satisfied that he’s once again captured our attention, he changes the dial quickly and finds a station playing the title song from Alegría. Everyone in the big-top recognizes this song and they begin to clap and cheer. John doesn’t think highly of this, however, and he clamps his nose shut in disgust (pee-you!) then mock gags himself with his index finger.

Eventually John advises us of the rules to be followed under the Grand Chapiteau – no smoking, no pictures, and the like – and then the world turns dark and still.

Until... Click!

The floor-lamp in the middle of the room suddenly flickers to life and we find ourselves in observance of Zoë and family on a typical day, seated comfortably in their sitting room. Dad is content reading his newspaper and avoiding everything around him. Mom is expressionless, vacantly staring out into the nothingness of space while clutching that old transistor radio. Zoë, the child, is obviously bored and in her attempt to gain her parents’ attention, hopscotches across the floor in front of them. But when they pay her no notice, Zoë becomes despondent and she wanders around the room – tracing a message on an imaginary window and running her finger across the family bird cage. But just when she thinks about turning off the light and returning to her room to sulk...

There’s a knock on the front door.

Startled, Zoë runs over to see who it could be, but what she finds on the other side frightens her – a character straight from a Magritte painting: there’s a headless man with an umbrella on her doorstep! Quidam enters and she backpedals into the room. Zoë watches him intently; then with a flash of lightning and a rumble of thunder, he drops his green bowler’s hat in the middle of the room and leaves. Frightened, yet undeniably curious, Zoë picks up the discarded hat and places it to her ear, listening for the fantastical, the ethereal, and smiling at the whimsical sounds coming from within. Checking Mom and Dad to see if they’re watching, she tentatively places the hat upon her head. In the moment the hat comes to rest upon her brow, Zoë’s world comes alive – Mom, Dad and the entire living room slowly float away. Mom and Dad seem unaware that anything around them is amiss as they (and us) become swept up in the universe of Quidam!


• "Petit Salon"
• Atmadja

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