Saturday, June 18, 2011

Let Their Be Height: Firefly Circus and Theatre School

Last Friday night (June 10th) Andrew and I attended Firefly Circus and Theatre's fundraiser cabaret show. As new students it seemed appropriate to support the school, plus we enjoy watching aerial performances (hence why we decided to learn the skills in the first place). Thanks to a tip from a co-worker of mine we headed out early and arrived at the theatre at Faculte de St. Jean around 7:20. The show wasn't scheduled to start until 8:00, but the theatre was already over half-full, with little space at the tables on the floor, so we decided to head up. We got pretty good seats, actually, first balcony off on stage right, and we didn't have to crane our necks to see the show.

The theme of the evening was the 1920s. As the show began, a number of the cast members filtered out into the audience (on all levels) wearing flapper-type dresses, chatting with people, posing for pictures, flirting, etc, until they eventually all filed onto the stage for an opening dance number. The opening was well put together (one of the school's instructors has extensive dance-theatre training), but a bit odd at the same time because the music sounded as if it came from a musical (I couldn't quite place it, however) and so there was singing, but not from the cast members. From there they moved into the first number featuring what were likely some of the beginner girls, performing on the trapeze (I assumed beginner, because they performed several of the tricks we've learned in our first two weeks). Novice or not, the group did a good job and we made sure to clap as often as possible.

The show reminded me a little of years ago when I skated in club carnivals. There was an over arching them that carried through the evening, with little interludes here and there, and everyone got to show off their skills. I don't mean to say that I thought the show wasn't very good, or not worthwhile, it's just how I would compare it to my own experiences. The set changes in between pieces were well done with a number of extra girls (who I don't think ever took to any of the apparatus, but I could be wrong) who would rush out (costumed) and pretend to dust/clean/sweep as they pulled out the silks or ropes etc. They kept in character the whole time giving the show an extra level of fun.

Two numbers in particular stuck out in my mind--the first involved our instructor. After the second or third number a 'tin can phone' dropped from the ceiling and began to ring. Out came our instructor, Kim, and in no time at all she'd climbed the rope in order to 'talk on the phone' with the show's MC. It was basically an advert for the silent auction, with the humorous twist that Kim just causally hung out at the top of the rope during the session. This was repeated a second time (promoting more items in the auction) with another performer joining in, also climbing a rope to get to a phone hanging from the top of the set. For the final time they both came out in heels and climbed the rope by doing a twisting-split move instead of simply going up straight. When they got to the top this time they actually performed their number.

The other performer of note was on the tapeze, she did a solo number and definitely shone. She seemed to know how to carry and move her body and did some really cool moves that we didn't see from some of the other trapeze performances (including a summersault over and around the bar). Andrew also enjoyed the last number, which featured four slightly older men (slightly older in that they were probably our age, rather than late teens, like the other two guys in the show) who did a robber/chase sort of number. One of the men climbed a silk using just his hands (legs sticking our at 90 degrees from his body) then proceeded to swing across the stage from silk-to-silk. Quite impresive.

Perhaps if we stick with Firefly we'll find ourselves in the show next year. Even if we don't do an aerials number we can always do a poi routine. For now, we're enjoying our intro class, and we're taking a stretching and flexibility class in July.



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