Bob Goepfert Reviews "Cirque Eloize" At Proctors

Aug 5, 2014

Every summer there is one sleeper event – a show that is unexpected in the fun it provides.  This year that show is “iD,” performed by Cirque Eloize at Proctors Theatre in Schenectady.

It seems terribly wrong to use the term sleep with this show.  It is so exciting and alive with energy the last thing you can think of it taking a nap.

There is little new in a world where the contemporary circus acts of all cirques have rapidly become too familiar.  Unlike last year, where Cirque Eloize added a pretentious story-line to their show, “iD” is simply a showcase for the great talents of the vigorous 14 person cast.

The presentation has a gritty feel to it as young people encounter each other on an urban landscape and challenge each other with physical challenges to either intimidate, conquer or woo.   

The individual feats are not new.  There are acrobatics, gymnastics, contortionists, juggling, a balancing act, the Cyr Wheel, stilt walking and trail bike riding.  However, in the hands of these young impressive circus artists and the imagination of the director Jeannot Painchaud everything seems as fresh as it is vibrant.    It is close to experiencing some skill sets for the first time.

Proctors Theatres give the show a sense of intimacy and is especially effective for the amazing projections that bring a sense of mystery and magic to the entire show.  

The individual acts are woven seamlessly in to the presentation and appear to happen organically which makes it special when all of sudden the stage explodes as the entire cast works together in a massive production number.  Closing the first act is a dynamic routine using jump ropes of various sizes and the show’s closes with a choreographed trampoline number that is dazzling

Throughout the show people express themselves through cool urban dance movement – especially break dancing.  The techno-beat music is initially fascinating but eventually the loud pulsating sound becomes irritating rather than infectious. .

The first act is non-stop fueled by energy.   The second act is still vibrant but pause for some moments of beauty such as the aerial dances using flowing silks.

Indeed, the show could use more such numbers as the constant aggressive macho vibe that is sent out becomes one-dimensional.   Too a couple of sequences linger a bit long and taint their freshness.

But it’s a wonderful complaint that Cirque Eloize offers too much of a good thing.

Cirque Eloize at Proctors Theatre, Schenectady.  Performances  7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.

Bob Goepfert is the arts editor for the Troy Record.   

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