Amazing physical feats highlight magic of Quidam

The Cirque du Soleil production opened in Abbotsford on Wednesday night.

Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam opened on Wednesday night to cheers from the crowd at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

More than 3,500 people attended the opening show which featured incredible acts of strength and agility.

From jugglers and clowns to acrobats and dancers, Quidam provided a sensory delight for the audience.

Like most Cirque performances, Quidam does have a story to follow, if you pay close attention, but for the most part it is a series of acts featuring incredibly talented performers doing what they do best.

That is not a criticism. Quidam is an experience that should not be missed.

From the opening act of the Cyr Wheel, which features Eric Saintonge spinning like a human spoke around the stage, to the Chinese yo-yo (Diabolo) jugglers hurling and catching their devices into the air, Quidam had the audience gasping is awe and appreciation.

While darker than other Cirque shows, Quidam successfully transitions from serious to light-hearted, sensual to off-beat.

The aerial contortion in silk (performed by Tanya Burka) was impossible to look away from. Taking place high in the air, she was secured only by a stream of red silk which she controlled to perfection. Even as Burka plummeted towards the ground her grace and incredible strength was obvious as she stopped inches before hitting the stage floor.

Each “serious” act was followed by a tempo-changing performance of high energy or comedy, whether it be the skippers doing tricks you’d never see on the average school yard or the clown (Toto Castineirs) who had two separate performances.

The clown, who never spoke, used members of the audience to create his humour.

Driving in his imaginary car, two chairs side by side, he convinced a young woman to come on stage for a romantic, but unsuccessful date. The audience loved every minute.

While all the acts – from the hand balancer to the Spanish webs (performers flying above the stage held by ropes), to the cloud swing and the banquine (acrobats perfuming jumps pyramids and other fantastic feats) – were impeccable in timing and talent, one act stood out above the others.

The statue (Yves Decoste and Valentyna Sidenko) is a routine featuring a man and a women working in perfect unison. Equally graceful and strong, the duo appear to barely move, yet manage to shift into one form that still seems impossible for the human body to maintain.

At one point the female was resting on the man’s shoulders, upside down, shoulder on shoulders in a straight line. Their hands were apart. Only perfect balance kept her there. And when the man then lifted on leg and tilted forward the crowd roared its approval.

What followed were more seemingly impossible gravity-defying positions that left audiences gasping.

Quidam is as entertaining as it is amazing.