Bazzar, an international visual spectacle with local shades, will open to the public at BKC in November. Thirty four years since its inception and after touring 450 cities in 60 countries and entertaining an estimated 190 million spectators, Cirque du Soleil finally arrives in India to Mumbai and Delhi specifically. He speaks to Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO of the group internationally renowned for its jaw-dropping acrobatic feats and visual spectacle
to explore what the Indian audience should expect from this whimsical one-of-a-kind universe
Imagine a stage full of acrobats and colours where every seat gives the best view since the stage is 360 degree — vibrant and humongous. To add on, it also accommodates 1500 guests, and comes with surprises every now and then. Still wondering what it could be?
It is the Cirque Du Soleil, a show with an unmatched level of energy, colours, music, actors and artists, acrobats, and dancers. The Canadian theatrical company will soon showcase its work for the first time in India from November to December. The show is an amalgam of cultures and artistes from different nations, bringing a cast and crew of 62 people from 13 different countries. They will be carrying 700 tonnes of equipment via 25 sea containers, leaving no stone unturned.
Director Susan Gaudreau’s new show will be called Bazaar. She reveals why it’s named after a commonly-used Indian term and how it finds its significance in being a marketplace of merriment and aficionados, “Bazaar is an Indian term but a universal term too. We use the same word in English just as it has been discovered in many other foreign languages. It fits the title as it is based on the gathering of artists, colours, and different emotions. It is full of energy and variety, just like a marketplace.”
The show pushes away the conventionality of circus and clowns, features a range of high-level acrobatics and circus acts, including duo trapeze, teeterboard, duo roller skater, slackline, hula hoop, acrobatic bike, contortion, and many others. “We will also introduce two acts which have never been performed at the Cirque — the duo malcolm act and hair hanging with an aerial rope,” says Susan.
Blending visual and performance art doesn’t leave a mark in people’s heart unless they are worked upon and revised regularly. “We, at Cirque, as well”, as Susan says, “are curious and always challenging ourselves to break open new ideas, try new technology, and push the edge of acrobatics. There’s always a step ahead. Through these 30 years, we just kept pushing.”
Daniel Lamarre, president and CEO of the entertainment group, believes that even though the world seems to be paused at digital spaces, there is still room for live and physical performances. He says, “In today’s world, a trend and counter-trend co-exist. So, the trend goes with the new media and technology including virtual reality and art. We might in the coming times use some technology for our acts. However, the counter-trend is that people are also dying to see live performances, which is what Cirque is about. As much as people are eager to understand new technologies, they also want live entertainment which can deliver emotions and passion live. This is why, 34 years later, we have technology surrounding the humans.”
“CDS has reinvented circus,” quoted the a magazine once. However, the question is, what goes into transforming a written play into a stage performance?
A drama’s aesthetic and literary merit belongs to the director’s portrayal more than the screenwriter’s. “It’s a whole team of artists and designers. The pre-production process before we go into the creation is huge. We have an incredible support of costume designers and sound designers. It starts from a single spark of an idea and from there it’s a gathering of great collaborative breeds of mind. We also have live music composers who write original material for the singers. We have choreographers, photographers, acrobatic conceptors and trainers. It’s a team of very passionate people, because of whom the written words transform into a display of such magnificent arts. They all work extremely hard and put their heart into the production,” says Susan.
Her directions, as she tells, are not influenced by Vaudeville or any carnival genre. “I was inspired by the CDS, the idea of the show was born out of the roots of the company. It’s not vaudeville, musical theatre, or burlesque, it’s just CDS, which is a genre in itself.”
One cannot be the global leader in entertainment “unless one succeeds in displaying itself in an important country like India, so I am trying to spend more time in India to be immersed in this country with such a rich culture,” Daniel enthusiastically explains.
While Daniel is delighted to have found two artists from India for the show, who “are not only going to perform in India, but across the globe, travelling with us for the next few years” he also excitedly reveals the uniqueness and newness that comes with Bazaar. “It’s an immersive experience with a 360-degree stage, where no matter wherever you’re seated in” in what is called “the big tent, everybody can closely watch the performers.”
Just as the act showcases an eclectic mix of creativity and a joyful troupe creating awe-inspiring spectacle, it also combines originality and freshness, reinventing the art.
Daniel shares his vision, “I had dreamt about creating a surreal world where diversities could be merged, and here I have created a stage for performers from across the globe. My team includes not only Americans or Canadians, but also French, Russian, Chinese, and Indians, and many more. I am spoilt with cultures, I am living all of them.”
Writer: Chahak Mittal
Courtesy: The Pioneer