Friday, October 17, 2008
Le Cirque du Soleil at Tokyo Disneyland opened recently, and his new show "ZED" is already acclaimed by audience and critics.
As i didn't saw it myself, i choose a critic by theatre critic Richard Ouzounian to let you knoww more about it. In addition you will find at the end youtube videos of the show.
Cirque du Soleil show Zed is a masterpiece
The Cirque du Soleil show Zed opened Oct. 1 at Tokyo's Disney resort. It's worth the journey to Japan.
TOKYO–Just when you think Cirque du Soleil has taken its own unique form of entertainment about as far as it can go, they manage to astonish us once again.
Zed, which opened at the Disney Resort here last night, is one of the major works in the company's history and a piece of theatrical magic that is truly worth travelling halfway around the world to see.
This time out, the secret weapon is François Girard, the Québécois director best known for such movies as 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould and The Red Violin, as well as his works for the Canadian Opera Company, such as Oedipus Rex and Siegfried. Girard has always had a knack for bringing a total vision onto the stage or screen and filling it with complexity, but I feel that Zed may very well be his masterpiece to date.
At first glance, it is not unlike many other Cirque shows, in which a Harlequinesque character goes on a voyage of discovery. In this case, he's a white-garbed figure known as Zed, perhaps a bit of a clown, but also the perfect empty vessel seeking to be filled by life's experiences.
Like any fable, Zed is open to a variety of interpretations and Girard is wise enough to make the audience a creative partner in the show, allowing us to find in the journey of Zed everything from a reflection on our interpersonal relationships to a response to the troubled climate in today's political and economic world.
Guy Laliberté, the genius who created Cirque du Soleil, instinctively felt that this show should be dominated by acrobatics and that was the sole direction he gave Girard. But what might have become a repetitious series of aerial stunts turns into a dazzling cadenza of variations on the theme of man in flight. The artists of Cirque hurl themselves into the air in a series of awe-inspiring combinations, defying both gravity and variety as well.
One soon realizes that what the legendary Cirque show O did for water, Zed does for air. By restricting the basic palette of choices, Girard has been compelled to go for depth in his staging.
Set designer François Séguin has sliced into one of those magical spheres from the imagination of Leonardo Da Vinci. The result is a structure of breathtaking grandeur, filled with multiple levels where performers can be displayed. Girard rises to this challenge and positions his artists boldly, letting the musicians and vocalists – too often hidden away in Cirque shows – be highlighted front and centre, while artfully placed actors function as pieces of kinetic sculpture in an ever-changing series of contrapuntal images.
The lighting of David Finn is also sheer legerdemain, offering kaleidoscopic fantasies in dazzling hues and textures that provide Girard's images with a tantalizing depth and complexity.
And the costumes of Renée April aren't afraid to make bold statements of their own, using pattern and colour to complete these complex pictures.
René Dupéré has composed some of Cirque's most memorable scores over the years, but the one for Zed ranks with his very best and the vocal execution of Kevin Faraci and Johanna Lillvik touches it with magic.
All of the pieces of Zed are brilliant on their own, but it is in the show's final sequence that they achieve true greatness. Girard gradually adds every single element we have seen all evening, one at a time, until the stage is filled with an astonishing panoply of movement, light, sound and sensation.
The old cliché about "seeing your life pass before your eyes" suddenly comes true as Girard brings everything together in a way that is both dizzying and somehow unifying at the same time. Unless Cirque decides to mount a version of Zed on our side of the globe, you will have to go to Japan to experience this jewel. Believe me when I tell you, it would be worth the journey."
Photos and Artwork: copyright Cirque du Soleil
Text: copyright Richard Ouzounian