Montréal Complètement Cirque festival opens this week and I was lucky enough to be invited to a presentation of Beyond by C!RCA at la TOHU (a performance centre) for the opening night.
Meant to blur the lines between animal and human as well as dream and reality, Beyond is a joyful ride into the world of seven artists that we get to know through group and single acts. Classic circus elements like trapeze and Chinese poles are reinterpreted with a modern twist to amaze the audience and carry them away in this new fantasy world.
Emotionally charged numbers were intertwined with humorous performances and the crowd oohed and aahed as the risky moves followed each other in rapid successions.
I was mostly in awe of the strength of the female artists who could lift their male counterparts without flinching while remaining gracious and feminine. The addition of props was minimal but always significant: a Rubik’s cube adds intensity to an acrobatics performance while a single piece of paper brings amazement to a poetic segment.
An entertaining mix of performance art, poetry, acrobatics, gymnastics, and humour, Beyond will astonish and charm you. The personalities of the artists shine through each performance and you will find yourself smiling from the beginning until the very end.
Beyond is presented at la TOHU from July 1 to July 5.
MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE takes place from July 2 to 12 and includes a street festival where free performances are presented every day in the Quartier des spectacles. Stunning aerial and ground acts as well as acrobatic equipments will be on display in the streets where international artists will astound you with their skills.
Les Minutes Complètement Cirque, a street performance on Saint-Denis Street in the heart of the Quartier Latin, comes highly recommended from everyone we spoke to.
Many shows will also be presented in various concert halls throughout the city. You can check out the complete program here.