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 Post subject: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Thu Jan 09, 2003 3:12 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Times.

Quote:
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL is back in town and abandoned its tent for the space best suited to its imaginative largesse: Queen Victoria’s gorgeous old Oz. All I’d suggest is that if you visit the company’s revival of Saltimbanco, book as central a seat as possible, for the show is mostly aimed that way.
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<small>[ 20 December 2003, 06:04 AM: Message edited by: Stuart Sweeney ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 2:59 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in The Telegraph.

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Few companies raise you to such exhilarating heights as Cirque du Soleil. Unfortunately, few also plunge you to such exasperating depths. The individual acts are sensational, but almost everything else stinks. There is something deeply depressing about going to the circus and being invited to applaud the "title sponsor". An air of corporate smugness pervades the whole event, for Cirque du Soleil isn't so much a circus these days as a brand name and a hugely lucrative big business, with eight shows running simultaneously in America and Europe.

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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:30 am 
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Location: London
Charles Spencer surprises me. He uses the word "horrors" and then tells us how good Cirque du Soleil is and what bits he likes plus tells us he goes back year after year.

Very often, the type of show that appeals to the masses ie can fill the Royal Albert Hall a thousand times over, is not necessarily going to appeal to me. Productions on a large scale do not "do it" for me. Cirque du Soleil is different.

It is wonderful - full of dance, life, theatre, drama and humour and I cannot speak highly enough of it. It also has me in tears - there are some beautiful moments that literally cause me to pipe my eye.

I hope I never have to sit next to someone like Spencer - enjoying himself through gritted teeth and in spite of himself. Let go, enjoy, find the child in you...it is allowed to enjoy fantasy.


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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 3:28 pm 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Observer.

Quote:
The Albert Hall is too big a top for Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco. The company, whose work I loved in its early days, seems to have lost its freshness. Vaulting ambition has over-reached itself, at the expense of audience rapport: the huge stage is busy and over-populated and applause can hardly be heard over amplified music.

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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 1:29 pm 
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Location: London
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:
Quote:

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:

Quote:
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>


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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 4:26 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Immaculate (but ditch the clowns)
By Jenny Gilbert for The Independent

Every New Year I try to resist it. Every New Year I give in. Cirque du Soleil is my weakness, and one that's not hard to defend. So why should I feel the need to? Because in the 18 years since Cirque started at a humble street festival in Quebec it has become a global brand, a slick formula whose dependency on hi-tech betrays the sawdust intimacies it grew from. Worse, I tell myself, the ticket prices are outrageous.

But every New Year I trot along and, noting that my £49.50 seat gives only a partial view, decide to write a mean review. And I never do, because at some point during the extravagant, not-far-short of three-hour experience, it works its spell, leaving me slack-jawed, blown away and thoroughly in its thrall.

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 Post subject: Re: Cirque du Soleil's "Saltimbanco" in London
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 1:01 pm 
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Posts: 3000
Location: San Francisco
Jenny Gilbert’s review of Saltimbanco has a couple of bits of misinformation. Although the songs in the show are generally gibberish that sounds like a variety of languages (or maybe they're languages that I can't identify), one song — the most important one, I think — is actually in Italian, and has lyrics that fit the act. "Il Sogno di Volare" (The Dream of Flying) is the title of the poem (or lyrics created for the song?) used in the beautiful bungee/trapeze act.

I loved this act when I saw it live. It had the most peaceful, serene quality. If there were a heaven, this would be what you would do for fun. I heard the words "sognare" (to dream), "volare" (to fly) and "paradiso," which all seemed to fit in with my image.

The “tarty pair who dance flamenco while swinging a kind of conker in each hand” are doing steps inspired by the malambo from Argentina, not flamenco, and the “conker” is a bola. I agree, though, that this was not one of the more memorable acts in the show.

<small>[ 16 January 2003, 02:34 AM: Message edited by: djb ]</small>


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