Summer 2010 – A Series of Moments…

“Spectacles of Awe…”

Another fun moment this summer was seeing “Kooza” by the Cirque de Soleil. Having met clown, Ron Campbell on twitter, and then offline in L.A. last year, I was excited to see him performing live in the big tent in Vancouver.

Cirque de Soleil's big tent

If any of you have seen Cirque de Soleil, you understand that you need to buckle up and get ready for a big ride, and Kooza didn’t let us down!

Excited to see Kooza!

As we entered the space, I spotted Ron as the King of Clowns interacting with the audience along with his sidekicks. I especially enjoyed the threesome as they were very bouffon like and audience members were treated to some “special” attention. Their presence came and went throughout the show, giving physical performers time to change their costumes and prepare for the next spectacle, or to just give us a break to breathe again.

Yes…we spent a lot of time holding our breaths as the physical performers took their lives into their hands with height, spinning cages, wobbly chairs, and thin wires. The whole show was a smorgasbord of pliable bodies folding in unexpected shapes, hoola-hooping beyond imagination, leaping, flipping, climbing, balancing, stacking, dancing, cycling, and impressing us the audience who, by contrast, were frozen immobile in our seats.

All acts were supported sensitively by beautiful live music made up of two voluptuous voices, and an orchestra of talented musicians.

Afterward, we were fortunate to go behind the scenes, meet a few of the performers, view some of the specially constructed equipment (done by the performers), and hear some stories. (thank you Ron!)

Behind the scenes at Kooza

Cirque de Soleil has managed to harness an incredible amount of talent from the performers and creators, to all the behind the scene professionals (riggers, stage designers, costumers, lighting designers) into a spectacular ensemble that takes you on a journey of fantasy and awe.

A true entertainment escape! Have you ever experienced it?

Stay tuned for a few more summer vignettes….

(oh.. and here is a Cirque video, by Chris Wheeler, we happened to pop into that night!)

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Vancouver Bouffons Spicing Up L’ÉTHÉÂTRE

L’ÉTHÉÂTRE is a new summer cultural event celebrating media arts, visual arts and stage performance in Vancouver, Canada, produced by Regis Painchaud and Lorraine Fortin of Visions Ouest Productions.

Bien sur, most events are en Francais, but art is an international language, and these events can be enjoyed by all.

In fact, on opening night, this past Saturday a gang of …well, not exactly humans, was present and spiced things up while people enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and their pre-show socializing.

Yes… Madame Rouge (me) & her Bouffons came out to play with audience members, and with some of the other performers of the evening. (This gang loves “enhancing” special events…)

As well as creating unexpected havoc (in the funnest way possible), les bouffons held space for circus performers, Benoit Ranger and Catherine Joly of “Les Transporteurs de Reves” as they displayed an amazing routine of strength and beauty. (Us Bouffons decided they were our esteemed cousins)

Les Transporteur de REVES
Izafuhh & Gagon "circus act"
Izafuhh & Gagon "circus act"

Later that evening the main show contrasted our wild opening with the classy ‘Le Trio Boris’ featuring lyrics of  Boris Vian, & Jacques Prévert.

This upcoming week I (not Madame Rouge) will be enjoying more of L’ÉTHÉÂTRE with a performance by ‘Le Duo Alcaz’ on Wednesday evening (July 14) at 8pm. I hope many will come and support this great new festival by Vision Ouest Productions!

(and who knows when those crazy bouffons will re-appear.. muhahaha)

Madame Rouge mocks cellphone use!

The 2010 Vancouver Olympics inspired an unexpected feeling…

The Olympics are over, and there is a quieter feeling in Vancouver.

The red hockey shirts, hats, mitts, scarves, weird hats, costumes, shoes, maple leaves, and flags have retired to closets. The spontaneous “woohoos!” have abated. And, I admit, I miss those crazy connections with strangers, and the upbeat energy.

Something emotional and spirited took place in Vancouver during the 2010 Olympics, pleasantly catching a few of us off guard.

Post Gold Medal Men's Hockey Game!
Post Gold Medal Men's Hockey Game!

However, with the Paralympics are around the corner,  hopefully, some of that enthusiasm will  re-ignite along with the flame!

2010 Olympic Flame
2010 Olympic Flame

I had a secret pleasure in observing the freedom that occurred with many individuals, and noted that a lot of people allowed their “bouffon” to emerge and take life a wee less seriously. It was like the Olympics gave permission for people to express themselves, release, and play.

Downtown Vancouver during Olympics 2010
Downtown Vancouver during Olympics 2010

And, that’s what I did too. Play. I indulged in my “Canadian-ness” and got caught up in our patriotic rouge. I became the Hockey Fan I was supposed to have been when I first won my Tourism BC twitter prize. I yelled  “Louuu…” every time Roberto Luongo saved a goal, and jumped up & down screaming when Sidney Crosby saved the day. (what was happening to me?).

I had pictures taken with  Canadiana as if I were a tourist in my own town.

Lucky me with Canadian Mounties..
Lucky me with Canadian Mounties
Beaver Bouffons!
Beaver Bouffons!

And, an extra special pic with Gold Medalist Skeleton Jon Montgomery!

Me & Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery!
Me & Gold Medalist Jon Montgomery!

My heart beat hard watching Joannie Rochette skate her Golden Bronze performance, I leaped off the couch as we witnessed the unexpected Gold medal snowboarding by Jasey-Jay Anderson, and the close Golden win of the men’s speed skating minutes later.

(My own Olympic moment was when I was zipped across a wire over Robson Square downtown Vancouver!! Whew!)

Watching the athletes inspired me to “go for Gold” in my art. As all the athletes were striving for their best performances, my cast in “The Memory of Water” at the Deep Cove Shaw Theatre were also enjoying sinking deeper and deeper into their work, giving audiences memorable experiences.

Just before our opening, I told myself, as I was directing,  to “Go through the finish line, not up to it..” It feels good to know that’s exactly what we all did!

"The Memory of Water" First Impressions Theatre
"The Memory of Water" First Impressons Theatre

Did the Olympics affect you in a surprising way, and are you going to embrace the Paralympics? (Personally, I think they already deserve medals for just being an athlete who has had to overcome incredible obstacles before mastering their sport.)

Olympic Inukshuk
Olympic Inukshuk