CULTURE

Circus act is quite a drama

A super-spectacle combining circus, modern dance and theater will be working its usual magic on Greek audiences this week, with acrobats, actors and dancers all taking part. The recipe is by now recognizable and the outcome seems sure to entrance the audiences, if one is to judge from the performances by this «new genre of circus» in the past couple of years. Last year, a unique performance by Les Arts Sauts took place and this winter the famous Cirque le Masque visited Greece. Now, it is the turn of Cirque Baroque, a sensational group of actors, dancers and acrobats who are visiting Greece for the first time for six performances. From tomorrow to Friday, they will be performing at the Lycabettus Theater, and this coming Sunday and next Monday, at the Gis Theater in Thessaloniki. Cirque Baroque uses circus techniques (clowns, special effects, dance, juggling, seesaws, etc.) to narrate stories. All this takes place under the direction of the inspired choreographer and director Christian Taguet. The music is played by a four-member live orchestra. «Ningen,» which is the title of the performance scheduled for Greece, is inspired by the life and personality of the Japanese author Yukio Mishima. Youth sacrificed in the honor of the samurai, St Sebastian’s revelation, chaos, human nature, eroticism, total self-control, the insatiable thirst for life and the ecstasy of death are all part of Mishima’s fictional world and the themes that «Ningen» addresses. («Ningen» means man in Japanese.) Taguet says that the performance rolls on rapidly and without an intermission, with acrobatics on bars and ropes, jugglers and strong theatrical elements, and also places much emphasis on aerial acts. Taguet’s recipe is based on a group spirit, the idea of spectacle, the notion of multiculturalism, total discipline, the use of multimedia and on themes deriving from politics and history. In his performances, one can hardly distinguish between reality and the imagination. Taguet, a self-taught acrobat and founder of the Les Puits aux images group in 1973, set up the Cirque Baroque in 1984 and two years later was awarded the National Circus prize. He has collaborated with various artists such as William Klein, Claude Berri and Roger Blin. Tickets from the Hellenic Festival box office (39 Panepistimiou, 210.322.1459), Ticket Hellas (210.618.9300), the theater’s box office (210.600.3537) and Metropolis music stores. They cost 35.45 euros if purchased in advance and 40.50 euros from the theater’s box office.