Review: Cirque du Soleil's Quidam, Vector Arena

By Janet McAllister

3 comments
Aerial acts are feats of strength, balance and beauty in Quidam. Photo / Supplied
Aerial acts are feats of strength, balance and beauty in Quidam. Photo / Supplied

This Cirque du Soleil show is big, slick, impressive - and just a wee bit impersonal.

All your expected, obvious acts are on show - the aerial silks, the human hamster wheel, contortion balancing, and acrobatics among others - and they're all executed with exceptional skill.

Although not particularly original, they're feats of strength, balance and beauty.
Instead of the intimacy of a Spiegeltent circus, the arena show has the soaring ceiling which allows for hoop swooping, rope climbing and dramatic drops galore.

The arch that carries the aerial performers cleverly stretches over the stage, like a metallic rainbow, while the marvellous Banquine tumblers use the height to make a human tower several storeys high.

Meanwhile, Wei Liang Lin shows rare personality among the cast, wrangling his diabolo (Chinese yo-yo) with leg flicks in a kicky purple jumpsuit. An adagio pas de deux between Alexander Pestov and Natalia Pestova is breathtakingly full of difficult lifts.

However, instead of a legible story thread connecting the "wow" moments, there is a lot of distracting filler and pseudo profundity.

Rather than meshing with the circus acts, the theatrical elements compete with them for our attention.

More from Spy:
'He's my rock' says Val of fiance
Summer's wealthiest party on Waiheke

Quidam is "dreamlike" in that its images are disconnected: a man with skeleton wings, a headless suit, a red balloon, floating ghosts. It doesn't help that the costumes are mostly sombre and monochrome, and the lighting is moody.

On opening night, audience participation was in such poor taste as to be offensive: a male clown repeatedly simulated sex with a young woman "volunteer" after she'd fallen on the stage, and cajoled another "volunteer" to do the same.

Now 20 years old, Quidam feels a little out-dated but it's a grand spectacle of world-class expertise.

What: Quidam
Where: Vector Arena, until February 14

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production apcf03 at 25 Mar 2017 04:16:44 Processing Time: 1551ms