There was a good snippet review in The Sunday Times which I thought got the balance right between acknowledging that when it was first devised in 1992, Saltimbanco was new and amazing and audiences were in delighted awe, and that now it looks a little tame when you compare it with the darker places that Cirque de Soleil has progressed to with, for example, Quidam.
Michael Wright writes:
It was always going to be risky to revive their show Saltimbanco, devised in 1992, so soon after treating London to the awesome magic of Quidam, a much deeper and darker new creation. The effect is a bit like following Beethoven's Hammerklavier Sonata with a quick rendition of Fur Elise. What you get is still a wonderful evening of gracefully athletic theatre......But the company deserves to be judged according to the exceptional standards that they themselves have set.
I am slightly manipulating the sense in so far as Wright goes on to say, in judging Saltimbanco against those standards, it comes out lacking:
And, colourful as it is, Saltimbanco has not the transcendent beauty of their later, more organic works.
But what I mean is, I would like critics to remember that, just as Petipa looks dated if you make Balanchine's 'six o'clock' legs the only aesthetic in ballet worth contemplating in the modern world, whilst Saltimbanco does not have the dark under- and overtones of Quidam, it does have its merits as good classical Cirque du Soleil theatre. And, like Petipa's works, Saltimbanco is good regardless of what came, and comes, later.
<small>[ 13 January 2003, 02:29 PM: Message edited by: Emma Pegler ]</small>