Review: FLIP Fabrique’s Blizzard Is a Welcome Respite - CircusTalk

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Review: FLIP Fabrique’s Blizzard Is a Welcome Respite

Here in Chicago, we think we get winter. Our unique understanding of the nuances of lake-effect snow and our ability to gripe endlessly about dibs surely preps us for the longest season of hibernation. But one thing becomes apparent when a circus company from Quebec like FLIP Fabrique comes around—and that is, we don’t know winter like they know winter—and thankfully, we never will.

In their show— Blizzard at Harris Theater, FLIP Fabrique was able to school the audience with good humor and hard truths on the intensity of the cruelest season, starting with their often-repeated motto, ‘Winter—it’s not a season—it’s a way of life!’ What is most impressive about nailing an overdone theme such as winter, is how easily it might have slipped into quaint, magical ruminations that fell flat. But FLIP Fabrique didn’t disappoint, because their relationship with winter goes way deeper than the 12-inch nor’easters they repeatedly experience between November and March. It all begins with the darkness, the stillness, and the presence of snow drifting down upon spectral figures mysteriously bundled in parkas (costumes by Erica Schmitz) and moving through space in their solitary trajectories. The action of the show vacillates between the playfulness snow can inspire (with exciting group scenes like snowball fights that lead to juggling), and ...

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Kim Campbell

Kim Campbell has written about circus for CircusTalk.News, Spectacle magazine, Circus Now, Circus Promoters and was a resident for Circus Stories, Le Cirque Vu Par with En Piste in 2015 at the Montreal Completement Cirque Festival. They are the former editor of American Circus Educators magazine, as well as a staff writer for the web publication Third Coast Review, where they write about circus, theatre, arts and culture. Kim is a member of the American Theater Critics Association.