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Captivating Cirque

ae_QUIDAMBreathtaking ‘Quidam’ Delves Into Deeper Emotions

When you think about a Cirque du Soleil show, it’s all about that big tent, the stunning acts and the fascinating modern circus-like revelry. Well that, and so much more, but as “Quidam,” one of Cirque’s longest running shows, hits the Bay Area this week, we may be in for a surprise.
And a pleasant one at that.

A slight veer off the track of most Cirque shows, “Quidam” doesn’t take us into an “imaginary realm” of quirky yet fascinating and often larger-than- life characters. It’s more of an examination of our own world. Reality—really? Yes. Here, we experience a land inhabited by people with real-life concerns. At the heart of the show is a young girl with emotional pangs—she’s dealing with distant parents. Hoping to discover some solace, she goes by way of Alice in Wonderland in some respects and dives into an imaginary world—that would be Quidam. Here she encounters characters who encourage her to “free her soul.”

That’s deep stuff for a Cirque show, but bring it on. And if any creative entity could pull it off, we know Cirque can.
“I love the family vibe between everybody in the show and giving over these ‘emotions’ to people,” says Mireille Goyette, one of the performers in the show who is part of a stunning aerial act. “This is a show about discovering the darker under-the-surface type emotions; it goes deeper into emotions and you have a wide array of emotions here—from happy to scared and beyond. Every emotion.”

As the story unfolds, we are introduced to Quidam, somewhat of a nameless solitary—a virtual everyman/any man, perhaps the silent majority. Think of as a reflection of the inner you, that somebody, that essence within who hopes and wishes and ponders life and dreams.
Beyond the “emotional” aspect of the show, expect to be riveted, too.

This international cast features more than 50 nuanced acrobats, musicians, singers and characters. Dazzling eye candy include a wild “German Wheel” in which a performer will maneuver from within, an aerial performance from a silk rope, a hand-balancing act, aerial hoops and a “Spanish Web” performance that looks to be one of the more intricate performances to ever hit the Cirque stage.
About six to eight “main” characters are tossed into the mix, too, so buckle up—this promises to be a wild if not emotional ride.


“Quidam” runs at HP Pavilion in San Jose (525 W. Santa Clara St. through March 27 and hits San Francisco April 6.  For more information, call (408) 998-8497) or visit cirquedusoleil.com.
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