Where are they now #3
Cirque la Compagnie
What if we started a company?
And what if we tried to have our own big top?
Four boys from the Montreal wave were already bouncing these questions around, a long-standing running joke. And what if?
For the 39th edition of the festival, they hit the jackpot.
‘We wanted to be ambitious and go all-in right away!’ Vertiginous jumps on the teeterboard, irreprochable stunts on the Chinese pole. We remember it well.
After several months with Starlight circus, they began their solo adventure - without a production or promotional team, or any other team for that matter - jumping into the summer street festivals with a bright and colourful show: ‘l’Avis Bidon’.
‘Because we don’t know the french network, or the way to go about promoting ourselves, we’ve developed our own solutions. We didn’t perform much in the 2017 season, but it allowed for a dense season in 2018’.
The street show evolved into a new version, for the stage: l’Avis Bidon, face B.
‘It was very beneficial to be familiar with these two facets. On stage, the emotional response is probably stronger and our panel is more open. We start with a theme, and we can follow it through all the way.. Everything is seen and heard the way we want it to… In theory the unexpected component is under control. Except for… yesterday for instance!’
‘Yesterday’, was in la Roquette sur Siagne in the south of France.
Standing face to face from the top of their platform, separated by a long plank, Boris and Charlie engage in a knife throwing duel, accompanied by their two partners on the trombone. Normally, the successful throws are rather balanced. Not yesterday. Charlie makes it. Boris, under the influence of a strange spell, only succeeds on the last throw. A burlesque mood takes over. New and unexpected characters emerge for this unprecedented situation. The scene is prolonged and the audience is delighted.
‘Naturally, the unexpected component is always present in the streets. If a kid is crying in the first row, Boris will take him in his arms, place him on the plank and tell him to wave his arms whenever he’s ready… we play with it.’
‘Avis Bidon, face A/face B, allowed us to grow into our characters.
We’ve come a long way since then… and we’re in the process of creating the next show, with a big top ! A marquee held up with an arch, no masts, for perfect 360 degree visibility.
There will be a real story this time. We will take on well-defined roles. We also have an extra acrobat, Nicolas Provot, on the free standing ladder.
There will be the teeterboard, the mast, knives… probably lift carries on a motorcycle, in the spirit of equestrian acrobatics… a plank attached by ropes on which we are imagining all kinds of swinging acrobatics…’
The show already has a name: Pandax.
‘Pandax, because one day Charlie was playing with his dad’s panda, and we thought: we’re… Pandax, relax!’
That’s how it is with the Cirque la Compagnie.
All four of them are very laid-back: ‘Avis Bidon, because it was important not to take ourselves too seriously, Pandax is because of the obvious contraction of Panda and Relax, and Cirque la Compagnie, because during our studies we would always say: let’s buy this or that, it’ll be for the company! And voilà…’
And voilà… their first show is a masterstroke: incredible jumps by Boris and Zac, Charlie’s acrobatics, Baptiste’s surreal climbs up the pole during ‘Yvan’s monologue’, taken from ART by Yasmina Reza (she must have truly liked Baptiste’s performance to allow him the rights to the most famous passage of her most emblematic play!), the encounters at the top of the famous cans, the brass band Wagner takeover, the waltzing chairs, those acrobat bodies flying to and fro…
Run, run to see this Avis Bidon, before it’s too late.
If not, let us wait impatiently until the spring of 2021 for PANDAX, a show for five acrobats and two musicians!