Blog Barbu @ Sydney Opera House Studio

Barbu @ Sydney Opera House Studio

Posted Feb. 28, 2017, 7:39 p.m. by T

Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground

Barbu by Cirque Alfonse
Sydney Opera House Studio
Sydney, AU
February 26, 2017

Needless to say that the mélange the troupe of Cirque Alfonse, with all its Québécois folklore, brings to the table as a collective is much bigger than its individual parts added up.


Barbu (which translates to “bearded” or “bearded man” – quite a telling name) the company’s 2015 Edinburgh Fringe hit, is performed on a small circular stage and catwalk and delves into the origins of the circus in Montreal at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

Think acrobatic vaudeville and burlesque comedy.

The troupe, comprised of five gentlemen and two female protagonists, introduces itself with non-stop routines agile and daring feats of balance and strength, utilizing an array of props including teeterboards, hoops and balls, poles, roller-skates, and whatever one can juggle with in the most contorted and seemingly impossible way.

As the show goes on, the intricacy and sweat inducing physicality of each feat becomes increasingly intense, with loads of shenanigans, unpretentiously camp humour and audience interaction thrown in for good measure to keep the mood light and fast paced.

The pace of the show is enhanced by all protagonists constantly involved: The four men (Jean-Philippe Cuerrier, Francis Roberge, Jonathan Casaubon and Antoine Carabinier Lepine) get few breathers in this interval-free 90-minute show.

Barbu’s women – aerialist Genevieve Gauthier and acrobat Genevieve Morin might have less of a presence, though deliver superb performances when in the spotlight.

The action is serenaded by an entertaining live musical soundtrack courtesy of a three-piece electro-folk band led by singer-guitarist Andre Gagne, whose circus rave adds spice when things get kinky in the second half of the show, e.g. when Lepine appears as a human disco ball circling in a Cyr wheel or when beer kegs are juggled in underwear.

What makes Barbu a fun night out is that the troupe works as a family based collective: There is an esprit de corps that enriches the physical acts, which is further enhanced by the artists mingling with the audience.

One can tell that the protagonists are not merely re-enacting their bits but have been involved in the development from the get go and take pride in it.

---

Photos by KAVV

Leave a comment
Share this content

Other recent blogs

Water of Life - Flor de Caña Rum

Posted by T
Aug. 11, 2019, 5:34 p.m.

Water of Life - Flor de Caña Rum   Nicaragua is a blank spot on my world map. “Blank” as in it has yet to be visited, I am intrigued ... read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Stockade Brewing Co

Posted by T
Aug. 9, 2019, 9:18 a.m.

Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Stockade Brewing Co   Stockade Brewing Co surprised me a bit as it seemed to have emerged out of nowhere. Further research revealed that ... read more

Yeezy and Kanye West - Season 3-4 Zine

Posted by T
Aug. 4, 2019, 2:58 p.m.

Yeezy and Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 – 4 Zine Thames & Hudson   The Yeezy phenomenon is one that ties in with the zeitgeist of artificially created hype and ... read more

Water of Life - Hernö

Posted by T
July 27, 2019, 10:58 a.m.

Water of Life - Hernö   One of the perks of roaming this earthround is that you get to try local spirits from the source. After a stint in Finland, ... read more

Thus Let Us Drink Beer - Modus Operandi

Posted by T
July 26, 2019, 10:14 p.m.

Thus Let Es Drink Beer - Modus Operandi   My prayers for a great local, bold yet easily accessible IPA that ticks all the right boxes were answered with the ... read more

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.