The tumblers and aerialists fly high in
Cirque du Soleil shows are known for their imaginative qualities, but "Quidam" carves a distinctive path. Like "La Nouba," the resident Cirque show at
That darkness comes in part from the score by Benoit Jutras, which adds an undercurrent of melancholy to many of the songs. A prime example would be "Let Me Fall," the best-known song from the show, thanks to its inclusion on a Josh Groban album.
The loose story, by director Franco Dragone, also contributes to the unease. It tells of a little girl, who's not getting attention from her distracted parents. Mother's bored with life, Father's buried in his newspaper (I couldn't object on opening night; he was reading that day's Sentinel, after all).
A mysterious stranger — a striking costumed character of a headless man carrying an umbrella — introduces her to a magical world of her own imagination. But it's a world punctuated by loud booms and frightening scenes.
Actually, the frights are only for the audience members watching the types of tumbling and aerial acts associated with Cirque — all performed without a net, as they say in the circus biz.
And many of the acts are in the air. Julie Cameron performs graceful contortions above the stage on a red silk banner, then turns tempestuous as the music takes on a rock beat. Looking like a cross between
Even those not suspended in the air manage to leave the ground behind. The finale act is a banquine, in which 14 performers create striking tableaux with synchronized acrobatics and human-pyramid balancing. Acrobats fly through the air, with plenty of daring but no trapeze.
Alexander Pestov and Natalia Pestova create a sensual air as they gracefully balance their bodies as one intertwined form. Ghislain Ramage is one with his giant wheel as he spins around the stage.
But around all the gee-whiz acts are beautifully, emotionally staged images: A solitary red balloon bobs out of Father's briefcase. A row of figures, clad all in white, fades into the stage lights. A figure appears in silhouette, shrouded by fog.
• What: Touring Cirque du Soleil show
• Length: 2:40, including intermission
• When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 16; 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, May 17-18; 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday, May 19
• Where: UCF Arena, Gemini Boulevard and West Plaza Drive on the
• Cost: $35-$75; $28-$61 ages 12 and younger; $31.50-$63 military, seniors and students
• Call: 407-823-6006