What inspires someone to run away and join the circus? Often there isn’t one simple reason, but I sure am happy that there are those who choose to hop on that caravan. Before circus performers hit the big time with Cirque de Soleil, they first have to learn the ropes at the National Circus School here in Montreal…
The National Circus School is a well-respected institution where students learn among their peers, honing crafts that include juggling, trapeze-swinging, rope-walking and much more. The National Circus School is not just a school, though. Their graduate performances are serious events that are hotly-anticipated by the entire Montreal community. Based on the rehearsals, this is definitely not a drill. If the performances are anything like the rehearsals, expect some jaw-dropping acrobatic skills and some crowd-pleasing skits.
While watching the rehearsals, I was awestruck by the physicality and grace of the performers. The shows Messa and Pomme grenade run from May 31 to June 12. Messa is directed by Julie Lachance, who has been a choreographer, artistic advisor and director for more than 25 years (most notably she choreographed Dralion for Cirque de Soleil). Her piece is centered on a disenfranchised group that resides in a squat and is part of a cult.
The second production is called Pomme grenade and is directed by Marie-Josée Gauthier, who is a performance consultant and has worked for several dance companies while teaching at the National Circus School. Marie-Josée Gauthier’s piece is inspired by anti-war themes, as a deserter finds himself haunted by childhood memories.
Both shows are being held at the incredible Tohu, one of the world’s largest spaces dedicated to circus arts. As you can imagine, it’s pretty well set-up for shows like these.
Guest Blogger: Sophie Naima Caird
Messa and Pomme grenade, May 31-June 12, 2011
National Circus School, 8181 2nd Avenue, (514) 982-0859
Tohu, 2345 Jarry Street East, (514) 376 8648