If the last few shows I attended were independent films at a local theatre, Cirkopolis was like seeing a Hollywood blockbuster at a Cineplex. Loosely based on Fritz Lang's Metropolis, a cast of multidisciplinary circus artists use acrobatics to rebel against the monotony of corporate life. The show is, at times, overstimulating with its pop music soundtrack and backdrop of cityscape projections. Overall the performance reminded me of Jaques Tati's film Playtime. There was a frenetic atmosphere with characters who spoke a jumbled and rapid mix of different languages and gibberish. The group numbers and comic pieces were engaging and expressed a contagious feeling of playfulness, but the serious portions seemed to lack the emotional relevancy they were searching for.
My favorite portion was when one of the clown characters tried to impress a woman who was made from empty clothing and a clothes hanger. Perhaps I'm slightly biased because he managed to find a clothing rack that was far more stable than the one I used in my own show, so he was able to use it as an apparatus to much greater effect. Personal jealousy aside, his character made me laugh out loud and provided an excellent transition into the following trapeze act.
I always admire the ideas coming from the big circus companies in Montréal and their skills are at an unarguably high level, but often the final product seems slightly unoriginal and contrived. To refer back to the metaphor I opened with, these shows are fun and inspiring on a technical level, but rarely leave me with a deeper sense of meaning.