‘Quidam’ offers glimpse into secret fantasy world

Reviewed by Shaniece Lewis
Times-News correspondent

Photo by Matt Beard

GREENSBORO — Due to a few technical difficulties, Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular show, “Quidam,” began roughly five minutes before 8 instead of the originally scheduled time of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night. “John,” the comical storyteller ringmaster, opened the show with versatile music from his radio player and silly dancing, allowing the audience to see past the starting delay of the show and enjoy the crazy antics that encompass the theatrical fantasy of Quidam.
The main character, Young Zoe, harmoniously sang to the crowd (in French) as she was bluntly ignored by her parents. As the parents sat on stage in their chairs, they and the set furniture, were lifted into the sky of the arena and appeared to be floating in mid-air.
Zoe continued to sing as mysterious characters, dense fog, bright flashes of lightning with sounds of rumbling thunder, filled the stage to set the suspenseful atmosphere as we entered the world of Quidam.
Amidst the wonderful sound effects, dancers emerged in white full-bodied costumes and one by one, performed astonishing acts to showcase their profound talents and skills. Some of the phenomenal activities included aerial acrobatics, Banquine (15-person acrobatic human pyramid), cloud swinging (combination of trapeze and Spanish web techniques while in the air), quick and intricate rope skipping and multiple juggling act rotation (juggling bouncing balls, a hat, an umbrella and a briefcase.) In addition to aerial hoop tricks and the “gravity-defying” German Wheel act, it was simply breathtaking and unique.
With the vividly robust orchestra playing majestically in the background, this entire team definitely showed the timing, precision and accuracy it takes to blend all of the synchronized talents. One of the most captivating performances was the Statue, featuring a man and a woman who truly embraced the saying “mind over matter” with their strength and flexibility to balance one another so seamlessly without ever losing contact or falling.
Following the illustrious sound effects and stunning strobe lights came a brief 20-minute intermission. When the show resumed, so did all of the unexpected fun and entertainment. One of the characters randomly selected four members from the audience to participate in spontaneous acts while mirroring him, as if they were recording a silent film. But the crowd couldn’t stay silent for long as laughter continuously arose in the arena at the amusing acts.
As the red satin curtains floated onto the stage and brought the show to a close, all of the dancers entered the stage and were recognized individually for their spectacular performances while receiving a remarkable standing ovation from the entire audience. The show then ended with one last blast of thunder as the arena faded to black.

 Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. April 18-19, 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. April 20 and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. April 21, 2013, at the Greensboro Coliseum. Tickets are $40 and up for adults and $28 for ages 2 to 12 and can be purchased at www.ticketmaster.com.

Shaniece Lewis is a senior at Alamance Community College and a Teens & Twenties writer.


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