Theatre Review: Le Noir: The Dark Side of Cirque

Le Noir brings to Adelaide a darker side of Cirque du Soleil with many of the professional athletes and performers presenting complex circus routines in a unique production.

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Le NoirPresented by Adelaide Festival Centre, Tim Lawson and Simon Painter
Reviewed 23 April 2015

Le Noir brings to Adelaide a darker side of Cirque du Soleil with many of the professional athletes and performers presenting complex circus routines in a unique production.

The show is like watching lovers connect on stage through a close dance which becomes a foreplay of circus and physical theatre. Traditional circus acts are blended with intimate movements between the performers as they display genuine emotional links toward each other. They maintain their connection and trust amongst each other throughout the entire production.

The specially designed stage set up is created to allow for a closer, 360 degrees experience for the whole audience. The main stage is condensed into a small circular platform with a runway leading to it. This allows for seats and tables to be located up on the main Festival Theatre stage with audience members positioned right next to the performers.

Despite the small size of the stage the individual acts remain big in their presence and successfully deliver on all the usual height and sudden movements of a circus show. This stage also allows for very quick and easy crowd participation in the interval pieces between the larger acts, especially considering the large size and time needed for general crowd participation in the Festival Theatre. The small sets are witty and very smooth for the transition between different styles of acts.

The costumes are spectacular in themselves. During the acts, the minimal covering of costumes creates a wonderful focus on the complete strength and ability of the performers. The true athletic nature of their bodies is shown in the ease of which they present the movements into each stunt. For the dance and interval numbers the costumes are loaded with red, white and black to play off the intimate nature of Le Noir. Some of the lacy, winged numbers resemble the flair of a Victoria’s Secret fashion show. The detail in their design flashes beautifully with the lighting set up and the movement of the performers.

The second half of the show pushes the daring aspect of the production. The Wheel of Death and balancing acts send gasps through the audience and are thrilling to watch live. A few stumbles in the performers’ movements keep the crowd on edge.

The backstage music and lighting team work effectively with the performers on stage and keep in time with their cues. The thumping music and moments of complete silence slip neatly into the production to provoke extra emotion and suspense during the show.

Le Noir is a beautiful and intimate show, with heavy sensual elements and strict choreography that creates a spectacular performance.

Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Twitter: @AlexDunkin

Venue: Festival Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 22 April – 2 May 2015
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: $69 – $99
Bookings: http://www.adelaidefestivalcentre.com.au/shows/le-noir/

 

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