Cirque and the Sky

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thefleur's picture
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Cirque and the Sky

Dear fellow Cirque fans,

Perhaps someone knows the secrets better than I do. But as I have recently watched DVD's of Alegria, Varekai and Quidam, and seen Totem live, I have some questions. 

In totem and quidam, how do the artists get down without the audience seeing? Examples include when La Promise is kidnapped, and when Zoe's parents are lifted in their chairs. I know that the trapeze artists in Totem finish at the top too, very baffling!

Also, in Alegria does anyone know about the purpose of the artists walking on the ledge? It's always confused me how they can get down/up from there. 

Sorry for all the questions! But I'm so curious to see how the magic works ;) 

Have a great day!

 

LeFleur

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Lighting, set design, and misdirection, friend. There are catwalks at the top of the GC that lead downward and backstage, but 99% of the time you'll be too busy looking elsewhere to notice. Plus the shows are specifically lit to illuminate what they want you to see as well as conceal the things they don't. 

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To get to the grid usually the mast closest to stage left is used. We wear black cloaks and a tech is at the bottom waiting for us to weight our harness. 

rowelle's picture
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For Quidam, there are tracks from behind the stage that lead forward to center stage. For the rest of the GC shows, like Ikaro said, the artists and tech people climb up the pillar thing that's closest to stage left. 

I'm very easily distracted by the slightest movement that's happening off stage from what's currently going on stage and it always fascinates me when I see this kind of stuff happening so I'm always anticipating what they're going to do once I see them get up there.

I saw Kurios two years ago and a lot of the characters are lifted/lowered to/from the stage. For me, it was easy to spot them sneakily climbing up or down.

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

Mungojerrie2010's picture
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Also next time you watch the Varekai DVD, keep an eye out on the far right (I believe) of the forest. There is what appears to be a staircase and people in black cloaks that occasional walk up and down throughout the show. 

"All your dreams can come true. IF you have to courage to pursue them."-Walt Disney

thefleur's picture
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thanks guys for your help! this is so cool to hear! :) 

The Tracker's picture
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In quidam they ues the Telepherique (the hanging archways over the stage) to lift zoe's parents into the air and then they retract the pulley back towards the stage where they disappear through some foam brushes (kinda like how they hide the band pit in totem with the 'bamboo') onto a platform over the Quidam band pit and central entrance to the stage. There is then stairs to the backstage area. This is simply the reverse of how spanish webs is seen coming onto the stage.

In Australia at least, the GC mast pole on the right side (when facing the stage from the audience) is actually connected by an airbridge 'grid' diagonally to the equipment place directly above the stage (where the crystal ladies chairs come from for eg) The artists usually wear a darker gown when they climb up this mast (as to not distract from what's going on onstage) and climb on the side of the pole facing away from the audience so you never notice, they also do it mid act so you are concentrated elsewhere. They then slid across the airdbridge to the centre of the stage where a backstage crew member harnesses them and sends them off for their act. Next time you go the the GC look up at the back right mast and you should see the airbridge I'm talking about!

I didnt know this until I asked. Until then I just assumed the artists exited through the top of the tent and walked over the GC to a ladder to backstage!

The Tracker's picture
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Oh Ikaro, only just read your message, I pretty much just copied you lol. What show are you on?

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http://worldredeye.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/DSC_0259.jpg

If you look at the very top of this image you can see the airbridge im talking about.

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Tom: "So you never notice it."

In Kurios I noticed every time. Especially prior to handbalancing on chairs to prep for the upside down gag.

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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Well I haven't seen Kurios, but in all the GC shows I've seen bar Quidam (ie Dralion, OVO, Totem, Kooza and Amaluna) I've never noticed it. They may well have changed their process for Kurios but I'm speaking from experience. 

In totem for example, the trapeze duo climb up during juggling where the back of the stage is darker so you can't really tell, maybe this isn't the case in kurios so the artist climbing up is well lit and visible. Also I always get seats directly in the middle (best viewing experience imo) but if you get 'bad' seats far to the right side obviously you'll be alot nearer to the mast they climb so it will be more obvious. Or maybe (for some wierd reason) they want you to see it in a way since it shows the mechanics behind the show (kinda like how there is a visible reel to move the cloth of the baticlan in kooza). Honestly don't know why its so obvious in Kurios...

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It's not obvious. Just noticable at times. But yeah, as you said, maybe it's the lighting and it wasn't as dark as the other shows, so that's probably why I was able to notice them?

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai