There are two men on stage, breathing heavily as they perform acrobatic maneuvers that give me butterflies in my stomach. This happened two times at Montréal Complètement Cirque–and both times were entirely different shows featuring a male duo. Although both shows shared some complementary themes and imagery–themes of the tension inherent in the nuances of the male dynamic for example, they were otherwise quite distinct in their approach. These two male duo shows had me wondering why we don’t often see full shows based around the female duo. Do men have more issues to work out, making for more interesting programming? Or are fewer small scale female led shows being supported during the creation phase? Are men more socialized to collaborate in circus than women? Or are women in some way reluctant to embrace the female dynamics that influence their relationships to one another? Are female duo shows not always fostered to the point that they reach the festival circuit? Or is the ability to show any sign of vulnerability so fractured by the unwritten rules of patriarchy that seeing these nuances of the male relationship challenged in tiny ways is more rewarding to watch? Although these questions are not easy to clarify, it is clear that the role the male duo plays in circus is significant both on its own, and in juxtaposition to the lack of female duo options. That being said, there often seems to be a frisson of tension when two human energies meet on stage and divulge the intricacies of their evolving relationship. Chute! and Un Poyo Rojo found this spot of tension and began poking at it for our entertainment.
Chute! For an acrobat, falling is a sign of failure, but in Chute! It is all a part of the game. That feeling of suspence before a body teeters off balance and hits the ground–this is what it feels like for the entire 55 minutes of Chute! The French company La Volte captures that feeling perfectly by using acrobatics and the spoken word. Matthieu Gary and Sidney Pin are the two performers and creators of Chute!–a performance that feels like the amalgamation of a stuntmen’s research project exploring the art of falling. Gary and Pin show us the physical act of collapsing, descending, sliding, plunging, crumbling, tumbling, and toppling while they explain the scientific and philosophical ideas behind what they are enacting, but not without creating many moments of comedy o...
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