As a twelve year old fiddling around with my Das’s turntable and rummaging through his LP collection, I would often come across the strange, the weird and the wonderful. The “star” in this last category of pure joy and wonder had to be the soft and smooth notes of Frank Sinatara’s voice, carrying over melodies composed by the likes of Michel Philippe-Gérard and Anka.
For me, these melodies and Sinatara’s voice resounded in my inner mind at about age 13 when my parents took me for a show I’ll never forget. The painted twisted bodies flying above my head, the legs bent and turned in impossible positions – strong and effortless, for me that experience embodies till today a perfect blend of theatre, music, dance, and movement that highlighted the tapped into the capacity of the human body to inspire, shock and awe, it was none other than – The Cirque du Soleil.
In my inner mental realms, these two icons – one musical and the other theatrical – will always reside as one. And today, as part of the 45 Days of Dance Stories, where I turn to that body part of a dancer which is so irrefutably tied to their ability to express strength – their legs, I share with you this “Circus” that began with 21 street performers touring Quebec in the 80s, and now showcases over 1300 artists in their year round productions on 21 stages across the world.
The contortionists from their production titled “Kooza”, are a personal favourite of mine, and their legs and their ability to go beyond the limits we assume our body is bound by, are mesmerising and confusing. I thought which better troupe or group to celebrate than the performers that are housed in arguably the World’s most creative, inclusive, as well as extensive artiste collective – The Cirque du Soleil.
Here is a documentary I stumbled upon on the audition process and what it takes to get into Le Cirque, today.