Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Cirque du Soleil, 2012: Profitless. Ka on Hold as Overall Biz Slumps

Not much we have not already heard, a report in Business Week quoting Montreal officials.

Last year's flat take blamed on production costs spiraling "out of control ...compounded by a weak U.S. dollar. "

Future performances of KA, where Sarah Guillot-Guyarda was killed last week after losing contact with a safety harness, are "cancelled until further notice."

Until further notice.  I'm now going to try to avoid all reviews of the new touring show due here in S.F. this fall, cause I want to review it on my own hire wire, cold turkey.   My wish is that it will erase labored memories of the mediocre Totem, dominated by a tacky roller skating act.

About an imagined or perceived chill left in the wake of the tragic accident, I am wondering if Cirque patrons might subliminally connect the dangerous imagery that brought down one company member with the more traditional circus experience, the linkage a negative for Cirque?

After all, more than any other company -- yes, even though the do present real risk taking aerial acts now and then -- this company has perfected the move towards circus ballet, conditioning modern audiences to expect their thrills and chills in a more esthetically safe environment.  No?

The Business Week report, same as earlier one out of Vegas, erroneously marked the fall as the first Cirque fatality. Not so, they've had another one.

Plus, there is also the been-there-seen-that factor that may eventually come to bear on the Cirque box office.

It's a company of terrific creativity and risk taking of its own.

And the cirque king, Guy Laliberte, is not to be underestimated.

Keep your eyes on Him Up There.


John Herriott said...

With all that synchronized of mechanicl expertice and human factor it is always scary to see any Soliel shows and the human factor being "chorus" with no name recognition is degrading in the performing arts.The employee bendfits give them an edge to be sure but RBBB-Feld Ent. also offers generous benefits as well.Too bad someone has to fall and loss of life is pretty sad. Yes accidents can happen in other circuses as well and certainly have. but other than Dinkie Pattersons death in a "Super Bowel" choreographed production we find other elements at risk. We nknow Dinjies fall was caused by human error because of the production demands. So Soliel continues with this overwhelming use of human skill. johnny. Guess I really do not know what I am talking about, but hope it rings a bellryabi

Showbiz David said...

Thanks, John.

Maybe I underestimate "scary" elements in a typical Cirque show, they are so designed to look as much like a ballet as a big top. I have been on occasions thrilled, I recall a double Russian swing act on Kooza that was simply sensational.

You make a good point in the "degrading" of the individual artist. I've always rued how Cirque gives so little face and NAME factor to any of its artists. At least Ringling puts a name to them, I think. Big Apple does a great job.

Some shows don't even put out a program magazine. Sad.