Given that they have traveled across five continents since their debut in 1984, it is hard to find anyone that has not heard of the thrilling performance group Cirque du Soleil. Flying through the air, performing feats that the eyes can see but the mind cannot understand, artists dressed in a colorful wardrobe and matching make-up give vibrant performances accompanied by compelling music. This is what happens in arenas around the world when Cirque du Soleil comes to town. It sounds basic enough, but the shows are anything but as they leave heads spinning wherever they set-up their stripy big top tent. What originally started as a 73-person troupe in Montreal, Canada has blossomed into a company with around 4,000 employees working all around the world, and from September 10 to November 1 the Quidam ensemble will be here in Seoul.
Premiering in 1996, Quidam features acrobatics and theater under the direction of Franco Dragone. Fifty-two acrobats, musicians, singers, and characters present the story of a young, bored girl named Zoe. Rather than taking spectators to other worlds – as is common for Cirque du Soleil shows – this performance keeps people right here in this world with real people with real-life worries. Zoe does not know what her life is for anymore and she seeks to find answers to her questions by traveling to the imaginary world of Quidam.
This imaginary world is like no other as it portrays the faceless people we pass by on the street when we walk to work or go shopping. It is the lone person that is sitting on the bench in the park or standing on the street corner. Undoubtedly, there is Quidam inside of all of us and Quidam could be anyone, anywhere. This show seeks to allow the Quidam in all of us to cry out; to sing, to dream and to promote genuine and close relationships between people. The characters Zoe meets embolden her to free herself, to be proud of her individuality, and to step out of the mundane life she is living.
The award winning Banquine act are currently touring with the Korean troupe, where fifteen performers showcase the amazing agility of the human body in an exhilarating synchronized act of movement. Another act is the Aerial Contortion in Silk. Imagine climbing up a long silk band of fabric and then being asked to perform astounding acts of contortion and acrobatics. While most people would not even think of trying it themselves, witnessing such an act is daring enough. While the Skipping Ropes may remind visitors of their own childhood games, seeing 20 artists bring their trusty jump ropes to levels beyond the imagination is another thing entirely. Other visual stunts include the German Wheel, the Spanish Webs, Aerial Hoops, Juggling, and the Clowns, all staged to provide entertainment for the whole family and leaving the members of the audience ready to analyze what they saw over dinner.
With these appealing acts aside, the music and costumes within the Cirque Du Soleil family tell their own story. With over 250 costumes used in Quidam alone, each one has been hand-dyed and custom fitted for each artist, who has between two and seven costume changes in the 85-minute performance. From wigs to accessories, nothing is left up to chance and everything has been included to tell its own tale in the overall performance. Benoit Jutras’ music is performed live at each show by six musicians playing everything from the violin, cello, and percussion to the saxophone, guitars, and keyboard to keep the audience riveted to each and every spectacular move the artists make while tapping their toes on the edge of their seats. The music provides a beat for the hearts of everyone there to thump along to as they watch with jaws dropped at the feats before them and follow along with Zoe on her ultimate journey. As Zoe learns to accept her individuality, so too does every audience member.
This optimistic and moving performance has a message for everyone from the young child to the older theater lover. Quidam will astonish and awe even the most difficult to please. Circus acts from around the world have been incorporated into Quidam to give people the opportunity to learn about different cultures while also enjoying the humorous, sensual, and inspiring movements from the mixture of arts included in the show.
If these reasons aren’t numerous or compelling enough to see the show while it is in town, think again as this is the last chance to see this particular performance. Quidam will retire from the stage in February 2016 after completing this final tour in Australia and New Zealand. Adding to that, after being converted from a Big Top tent performance to an arena show for its tour in North America, Quidam will be shown in the Grand Chapiteau as it was originally choreographed for South Korea performances. Join a club containing 155 million others that has witnessed – and been enthralled by – a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984. It is not every day that a circus comes to town and when that circus is an award-winning one, the opportunity to partake in the fun should not be passed up.
To win a pair of tickets for Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam in Seoul this month, visit our Quidam competition page for a chance to see the action under the Big Top. Go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LRH8JDB for a chance of winning!
More Info: Cirque Du Soleil
When: September 10-November 1
Where: Big Top Theater, Jamsil Sports Complex
Time: Tue-Fri 8pm / Sat 3pm and 7pm / Sun 2pm and 6pm (No performances on Mondays)
Cost: KRW 60,000 – KRW 250,000
Address: 10 (Olympic Road 29) Jamsil 1(il)-dong Songpa-gu Seoul
Contact Info: 02 2240 8809
Bus: 2225, 3217, 3218, 3411, 3412, 3414, 3415, 3417, 3422, 360, 361, 362, 363
Subway: Sports Complex station (Line 2, Exit 7)