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March 22, 2011 > Cirque du Soleil returns with Quidam

Cirque du Soleil returns with Quidam

By Mona Shah

Quidam is the latest touring production from the fabulously successful Cirque du Soleil to visit the Bay Area and, like its other productions, Quidam delivers a dazzling array of acrobatic performances delivered with breathtaking artistry.

Ditching its trademark blue and yellow big top, Cirque will present Quidam in an arena, from HP Pavilion to the Cow Palace. It's a milestone in the life of the troupe which started out as a ragtag band of street performers in 1984 and is now one of the most powerful global entertainment brands around.

The circus's longest running show is a story of young Zoe who is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world-the world of Quidam - where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul. This place beckons - a place for dreaming and genuine relations where all quidams, by proclaiming their individuality, can finally emerge from anonymity.

Its opening act is a seductive aerial contortion in silk, combining power and grace as young woman becomes one with the column of red fabric, which supports and cradles her. Set to haunting music, contortionist and cloth intertwine, separate and embrace again. A gymnastic exercise hailing from Germany, the German wheel is taken to a whole new level in Quidam. The artist becomes a human spoke as he spins, turns, twists and maneuvers the wheel, performing gravity-defying somersaults and acrobatics.

Do you remember the joy you felt as a child skipping rope with your friends? Drawing its inspiration from dance, acrobatics and the art of manipulation, Cirque du Soleil has transformed this familiar child's game into a choreographic feat. As the ropes beat time, a group of 20 acrobats, endowed with exceptional co-ordination and rhythm, perform a steady stream of solo, duo and group jumps and figures.

Breaking with tradition, Quidam presents the Spanish web as a group act. Artists fly over the stage, attached to a specially designed conveyer called a telepheric. Suddenly, time stands still as the acrobats, in turn or as a group, drop into the void, stopped only by the ropes looped around their waists or ankles.

Quidam is like everything in the Cirque du Soleil repertoire: spectacular, artistic and entertaining. Vintage Cirque, Quidam, like all their productions, taps deeply into your imagination.

March 24-27
HP Pavillion
525 West Santa Clara Street, San Jose
April 6-17
Cow Palace
2600 Geneva Avenue, Daly City

Tickets: $32-$115

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