Chute! by La Volte is the best thing you could wish to see if you, like me, are just still being introduced to circus. However, it left me a little unsatisfied. In what would be the appetizer sized portion in your however-many-course meal, the two-man company from France, who originally began touring the show in 2016, introduce us to and explore together the simple concept of “falling”. Through humour, science, and a little philosophy, we are presented with the age old question, “If we know we are destined always to fall, why do we get back up?”.
What starts conventionally as a conversation between the two, discussing the correlations of certain factors of falling; height of the fall, pain, the sound that your body makes when it finally finds the floor – which takes place while both acrobats actually lift and drop each other on the (safely matted) ground, eventually evolves into a lecture about physics and what falling really is. This is where the show starts to look more like a “TED Talk” than a circus performance. Don’t get me wrong, there isn’t anything inherently wrong with mixing lecture and spectacle, although maybe at times there was too much talking. Given, there needs to be a certain level of understanding of physics for the philosophy of the falling acrobat to make sense, but would you be satisfied if you were starving and you were only served an appetizer for dinner?
What truly interested me about this performance was the ingenuity in which the question was presented and explored. The question they posed wasn’t necessarily new to me, and you can take that question and metaphorically apply it to countless situations you’ve undoubtedly already experienced and think about it that way. But those are only thoughts and ideas. It took acrobats, exploring one of the most fundamental concepts of acrobatics, to really show me all the ways in which one can fall; fall happy, fall sad, fall unexpectedly, fall willingly, fall hopelessly, fall openly, and still learn to always get back up.
If you get the chance to, I would suggest coupling this show with another show in the festival to create a perfect balance of intellectual and spectacular. This show is light-hearted, funny, simple and still memorable. It plants a seed that begs you to go out and discover more about circus.
The Montreal Complètement Cirque Festival presents La Volte’s
Venue: Wilder Building – Espace Orange
(1435 Rue de Bleury, Montreal, H3A 2H7)
Dates: July 11th – 15th, 2018
Admission: $15.00 – $35.00
Box Office: In person at the Wilder Building or TOHU,
by phone at 514 376-TOHU (8648), or online at
Check out the festival’s full indoor lineup and free outdoor programming at https://montrealcompletementcirque.com/en/
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