iD takes circus arts out of the big top and into the big
With a name that means heat lightning and a powerful,
sizzling show that lives up to it's name, iD by Cirque
Eloize is a must see. Éloize, pronounced
[EL-WAZ] is a word that comes from the Magdalen Islands and means
"flashes of heat lightning seen on the horizon". An
inspiration for the troupe's seven founding members, this lightning
symbolizes the heat and energy that feed the troupe's spirit.
Their newest production's name, iD, comes
from exploring iDentity,
indiviDuality and autonomy in a culture where
omnipresent images cause us to lose our reference points, making us
express the same values by way of different codes.
We were amazed as this Canadian troupe brought street style skate
and bike tricks to the posh Cadillac Theatre and pulled it off with
conviction. Actors broke down the 3rd wall by biking
and in line skating right off the stage, into the audience, and up
and down the aisles! They even drafted an audience
member to lay on stage spread eagle while French bike trial pro,
Thibaut Philippe, bounced nerve wrackingly near and over him on the
rear wheel of his bike.
The 16 characters in iD continued to wow us with aerial arts,
contortion, trampoline and playfully tension filled fight and flirt
scenes among urban sprawl. And true to the multicultural
richness of real cities, the talented cast includes performers from
around the world. iD is Fletcher Sanchez, Dmytro Bogodist,
Alona Burlachenko, Melissa "Melly Mel" Flerangile, Nicolas Fortin,
Christian "Sancho"Garmatter, Xuan Le ( a great online skater),
Josianne Levasseur, Richard Maguire, Baptiste Montassier, Forty
Nguyen, Hugo Ouellet-Cote, Thibault Philippe, Manda Rydma, Ryan
Shinji Muray and Emi Vauthey.
Both of my kids are learning silks, trapeze, juggling, rope tricks,
balancing, tumbling, clowning and stage combat at CircEsteem in
Chicago, so they were entranced to
see what the future could hold if they stick with it.
Cirque Eloize began with a handful of
friends from a small Canadian island, and has evolved into an
international touring sensation. We happily bought an
iD t-shirt and jump rope at the show, to look
stylin' while we get started.
We all sat stunned as the actors engaged in aerial gang fights and
posturing, flying and falling against a graffiti laden backdrop of
high rises. An urban construction site became a real life
video game, as a playful juggler dodged between workers carrying
panes of glass back and forth across the stage. Chinese pole
arts took street fighting to new levels as strength
gained the higher ground. Finally, the
gravity defying trampoline act made all of want to walk up
The moving projection back drops were so fantastic that I
was reminded of motion simulator rides on our recent
trip to Universal Theme Park in Orlando. The
iD backdrop screens suck you into a black hole,
give you the perspective of balancing on top of sky scrapers, and
make you a part of the dizzying, glorious, cacophony of urban
The projection, pulsing rock and electronica music, city sound
effects, lighting and urban street wear costumes all contributed to
making this production a cohesive piece. iD is
more spectacle than circus, and a playful, daring, heart pounding
celebration of all that the word city embodies. Phenomenal
individual aerial acts, juggling, chair stacking and contortionists
all became greater than the sum of their parts as they play out
their talents in an edgy, urban setting.
We've included a message from the director below that sums up
iD in street smart eloquence.
At Cirque Éloize, we have always nurtured our shows
through encounters with creators from different horizons. We have
also always favored a multidisciplinary artistic approach, which is
enriched with artists of several nationalities.
No exception lies in this new creation.
Sixteen artists on stage, twelve circus disciplines, and then the
discovery of a world which is new to us, that of urban dances such
as break dance and hip-hop.
I imagined this show at the heart of a city, where the omnipresence
of image causes us to lose our reference points. I sought to create
an aestheticism at the crossroads of comic books, science-fiction
movies and the rich universe of graffiti.
The decidedly rock, electronic and poetic music, coupled with the
presence of video, highlight the show's playful, energetic,
youthful and urban aspects.
In the middle of this city exists a public place. A public place,
as a spot where one can seek refuge and escape anonymity, to
express one's individuality and affirm one's identity, in order to
reclaim possession of public space, and to dance the city.
An area for encounters, a site of passage, a hood where clans
confront one another, where friendships are woven. Where love is
created, and dissolved.
I am proud to invite you to join us on this new adventure.
Check out their web
site for tickets, show
photos, cast and crew bios and
Show times: Saturday, April 30th at 2 p.m. and 8
p.m.,Sunday , May 1st at 1 p.m. and then next Friday,May 6th at
7:30 p.m.,Saturday the 7th at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the final
performance , Sunday, May 8th.
Tickets range from $20- $75 and can be purchased by phone
at Broadway In Chicago Hotline 800-775-2000, at all Ticketmaster
outlets or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com
Cirque Eloize played sold out engagements in
Montreal and Toronto and were given a well deserved standing
ovation at opening night in Chicago. iD
is only in the urban environs of downtown Chi Town for a limited 3
week run and ends May 8th. Once word spreads, tickets
may be hard to come by, so get yours today.
ChiIL Mama highly
recommends iD for all ages.
Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a writer-photographer-potter-painter-actress-animal wrangler-general creatrix and Mama to two amazing kiddos.
See more of Bonnie's stories here.
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