Troupes and performers from near and far take the cultural metropolis by storm for a summer event not to be missed.
Circus strives to reach new heights of creativity and daring feats at the 5th-annual Montréal Complètement Cirque international festival, July 2-13, with awe-inspiring shows at circus centre La Tohu, in charming theatre venues and free in the streets of downtown Montreal…
(circus masters) Today’s circus comes with a story and compelling characters along with colourful costumes and extreme talent. One of Montreal’s most captivating circus troupes, Les 7 doigts de la main, premiers a new, all-ages show exclusively for Montréal Complètement Cirque’s 5th anniversary. In Intersection, performers immerse the audience in a story of universal human emotion while wowing us with acrobatics on a 360° stage. Another brilliant troupe, Cirque Alfonse, returns with new creation Barbu Foire Électro Trad, a wild, politically-incorrect extravaganza of live music, video and circus arts. And in Six Pieds Sur Terre, Lapsus Company builds the world anew after a war destroys it, using all kinds of familiar materials, from bricks to eggshells, to remake a home as only circus artists would.
(small worlds) Smaller-scale shows add an element of the personal to the festival, engrossing us in their worlds just as much as the bigger shows do. Award-winning Australian troupe Gravity & Other Myths brings daredevil show A Simple Space to Montréal Complètement Cirque for the first time – on a stripped-down stage, eight muscular acrobats push the boundaries of their abilities, making for an edge-of-your-seat show all about skill and daring. Magic and circus hit the stage in Le Soir Des Monstres, a fast-paced and poetic show reminiscent of black-and-white monster movies of cinematic history. Comedy and daring pair up in Anthony Venisse’s one man show Le Concierge, about a janitor who lives out his circus dreams after the “real” performers have left the stage for the night. Technology, electronic music, artistic experimentation and circus collide in Reset from troupe Throw2Catch, a show that blends the virtual world with extremely physical reality. And Acrobates by Le Monfort also harnesses the power of art in circus, following two acrobats in an honest and emotional journey of life, death and hope.
(outdoor feats) Montréal Complètement Cirque adds controlled chaos to downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin every night starting at 7 pm – 7 p.m. with a new version of outdoor show Babel_remix, performed on a 55-foot-high scaffolding stage equipped for all kinds of highly-entertaining, death-defying acrobatics. Stroll down Saint-Denis Street any time during the festival and find a bit of circus magic during the day, on July 11 and 12, well into the night. Try your hand at the trapeze with Cirque Carpe Diem, set up for thrills at Parc Jean-Drapeau throughout the festival. And Montréal Complètement Cirque ventures into neighbourhoods city-wide, staging numerous circus performances in parks throughout the festival, including at Jeanne-Mance Park (at the foot of Mont Royal Park) on the evening of July 3, at Olympic Park Esplanade all afternoon July 12-13, and outdoors at La Tohu during the day July 6-7 and 13-14.
(kids only) No circus festival would be complete without shows and activities tailor-made for kids. To kick off the family-friendly festivities, a parade of tumbling, clowning and more circus mayhem adds an even more of a celebratory atmosphere to the festival’s fifth year: join the fun on July 2 at 6:30pm on Saint Denis street between Sherbrooke and Ste-Catherine. Meanwhile, under the blue-and-purple big top at La Tohu, see American company Midnight Circus in Small Tent… Big Shoulders, a variety show full of funky music, acrobatics and pure joy. Two acrobatic clowns make a fantastic mess in Île O, performed on a stage filled with water. And, the biggest name on the circus block, Cirque du Soleil, also makes an appearance in the festival with fantastic new show Kurios, currently thrilling audiences under a big top of Cirque’s own at the Old Port of Montreal.
Montréal Complètement Cirque, July 2-13 2014
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