Circus stars scale dizzy heights

By Lester Hio

CANADIAN circus act Cirque Eloize makes its debut in Singapore with its explosive urban dance and circus act Cirque Eloize iD.

Instead of the stuffy confines of a circus tent, be prepared to be amazed in the comfort of Marina Bay Sands' Grand Theater, as the two-hour show wows you with incredible displays of acrobatic stunts and tricks that you wouldn't think were humanly possible.

This is, however, no ordinary circus act. Director Jeannot Painchaud believes in a multidisciplinary approach to his acts, and iD is a modern hybrid of circus and urban dance set against a stunning visual backdrop of computer graphics and electronic soundtrack.

The set is hardly static-lighting and visual effects imbue the act with a dizzying 3-D intensity, where the backdrop of a city in the midst of urban decay just pops right out.

The heavily electronica-laced soundtrack, the original composition of indie artist Jean-Phi Goncalves, infuses the entire act with an incredibly realistic street cred that will speak to the street-roaming young. Think heavy pulsating beats, mingled with elements of hip-hop, rock and trance, and you get a sense of the slightly otherworldly feelings the music inspires.


iD explores the issues of identity and individuality in a culture where omnipresent images cause the individual to lose all reference points. This message manifests itself very well in the show - the shifting backdrop, the fluctuating soundtrack, and the fluid, amorphous acts of the performers.

Cirque Eloize iD begins with an impressive showing of acrobatic skill from Dmytro Bogodist and Alona Burlachenko, who performed a dance duet that mixed contemporary dance with acrobatic feats that set the tone for the rest of the show.

As the show progresses, the music gets harder and the acts get more excitingly frantic. An urban dance-off set to a heavy electronic soundtrack sets the stage for the main conflict of the show, which is heavily reminiscent of West Side Story, but with a more urban, ghetto twist.

A flurry of activity on stage, with a group breakdance-off, surrounds the impressive showing of Fletcher Sanchez on the Chinese pole, where he shimmies up with an astoundingly fluid grace before seemingly defying gravity by extending his entire body near-perpendicular to the pole.

It all builds up to a wonderful climax where he slides down the pole face-first, which will leave you gasping in fear as he stops just in time to narrowly avoid making an acquaintance with the floor with his face.

And that's just the beginning.


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