Really, nothing can center my world like circus performances, and this week is off to a great start.
We are just wrapping up Greg's double-dark, two full days off. We spent most of it in Plattsburgh, NY, visiting my extended family.
On our first day in Plattsburgh, I took a group of people to see Circus Smirkus! It was our second year doing this, and second year feeling proud watching Aaron Berman in the show.
Aaron is a talented young aerialist from the Philadelphia area, he has been training at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts for a few years now. Seeing him shine onstage is wonderful, and I'm quite sure this is just the beginning of his performing career.
A good afternoon was spent with circus acts and cotton candy, and we headed back to my aunt's house. Here's a bunch of us in the pool - that's me and my cousin Lisa, with all of our kids.
Today, after a few last visits and shopping (just like the Canadians, we stocked up on groceries and household goods before driving back across the border - prices are so much cheaper in the U.S.), we came back to Montreal, and left the kids with a babysitter so we could partake of a Montreal Completement Cirque performance. This one was called Wunderkammer, by an Australian group, Circa. Circa's mission statement is pretty fun: "...we progress with ceaseless inventiveness... guided by safe danger and fuelled by love and respect."
We were glad to have seen the show, but had to give it a mixed review. It had some gorgeous moments - a brilliant opening manipulation number with a hoop; great solo trapeze; a hand-balancing piece in pointe shoes; and a beautiful group acrobatic act that had all six artists throwing each other around in quite original ways. The show was heavy on dance-acro, incredibly physically demanding for the artists who were onstage for almost the full 90 minutes.
However, here again was a show bogged down by a wacky director. Entirely too much writhing and dragging people around, and too many burlesque moments. It seemed to us that many great bits in the show just had no finish, no punch line, and you were constantly left wondering, where is this going?? Glimpses of interesting ideas disappeared, and there were only a handful of times you could really exhale and grasp a concept in front of you.
This lack of simplicity was, I'm sure, mostly intentional, and I had to admire the way the acts flowed into one another, continually changing shape, rarely beginning or ending obviously. I loved how a performer would finish a particularly challenging routine, and instead of disappearing offstage, would simply join in with the group for the next set of maneuvers. The structure of the show was anything but boring.
I'd like to see more of Circa's work - apparently they have several shows, and multiple casts, though this is the first time I've ever seen them.
Cheers to Montreal Completement Cirque for bringing so much international talent to one place! And the circus festival is just beginning.
We have a mad week ahead. Greg, in addition to his regular work schedule, is going to appear on the Today show Thursday morning (just as the Scientist character, not juggling). So there are extra rehearsals for that. And it's the President's Tour this week, extra meetings. Myself, I have a full schedule of teaching classes, running kids around to activities, and welcoming round 2 of visitors. It's nice to be busy!