Saturday, November 14, 2009
Friday Fliparounds: China's Emerging Greatest Show on Earth ... A Tawdry Bio on Cirque King Guy Laliberte Fails to Deliver, Says Bloomberg ...
A terrific new Big Apple Circus YouTube teaser left me charmed by one act in particular — two wry Chinese guys, the Long Twins, who end up in two barrels cavorting in a very funny manner. Comedy from China? Once seriously ground bound, their crack acrobats are more and more flying high, and now they are clowning it up or down, too. What next — a dog act that doesn’t end up on somebody’s plate, ho ho? I am starting to see a Buddha big top. All they need are a few animals. I share this remarkable insight with friend Boyi, and he tells me of a very clever monkey who performed for him years ago in his village. The charming chimp did “flips,” dressed up and walked like a human and then “passed a tray around” for donations. Okay, so maybe we've got a bookable chimp, and I've heard of two pander bears over there who perform. All they need are a few Montreal designer insects. Read on ...
Speaking of which (animals, that is), Wade Burck takes me to task for maybe being to hard on Kenneth Feld. Says the cage man, “the animal rights movement kicked into justified action with a full head of steam in the late 70s/early 80s fueled by many producers/trainers revered as heroes. The ‘Feld myth’ that you point out as ‘crashing’ is residual fall out from the sorry history that the industry had before it was forced to change itself. Everybody operating today and tomorrow will be dealing with the sins of the past. Point a finger in the right direction if you want to help change the situation.” ... Okay, Wade, but we still have that awful video issued by PETA appearing to reveal blatant elephant abuse, and I remain more than curious about how, according to a Feld Entertainment press release, it was “deceptively edited.” Believe, me, I would love to learn that the damaging film footage was edited into false testimony, but I can no longer hold my own (possibly self-created) myth about Mr. Feld as being a man genuinely dedicated to the proper treatment of animals.
Monkeys to Insects: From Montreal to San Francisco come the latter, all dressed up for Cirque’s new touring attraction named OVO. $65.00 (not counting additional fees) will get you the best worst seat in the tent. Maybe I’ll try to sidewalling this one. I’m skinny enough to pass for an insect myself. (I’m laughing, are you?)
About Cirque du Soleil, its fearless leader Guy Laliberte could not nix the publication of the sleazy tabloid tome about him that alludes to all sorts of late night parties for free lovers and loaders. Reviewing it for Bloomberg News, Steven Frank expresses acute disappointment that a major chance to deliver on this remarkable story was so botched up and blown aside by gossipy author Ian Halperin. Says Frank (largely in sync with what Henry Edgar earlier told us), the author “skims over parts of Cirque du Soleil’s history while spending an inordinate amount of space on titillating tales from people identified only by a first name or a pseudonym.” Laliberte is a “great creative force worthy of a major biography. But Halperin’s book, sadly, isn’t it.”
Naked Residuals: When I read about the Naked Clown Calender 2010 being put out by the San Francisco Circus Center, all I can do is rue the strange subversive demise of its once-vital predecessor named Pickle Family Circus, and wonder why this had to happen to Larry Pisoni’s little touring gem. Nothing more is what’s left of the post Pickle operation than a concession cow for a few individuals who pitch lessons to students seeking circus careers who mostly dabble and then go no where. Maybe as insects they’d have a future. Sad but true. I sigh. And I take heart looking elsewhere, such as to Oakland where the promising Circus Bella (there they are in the photo), a new Bay Area troupe reminiscent of the old Pickles, is striving to make a name for itself. I hope they can. We need a circus, not a failed institution that pushes veiled porno. Yuck! What an insult to the Pickles that were. Go, Bella, Go! (in your costumes, please)
End Ringers around Dragon Well: Heck, there are none. They all got puffed in the Big Show! Meet me here for more of the same in a few or a thousand days ... No more teasers, Big Apple. I am not calling Amtrak!
[top photo: Qibi Acrobatic Troupe, China]