Breckenridge Creative Arts presents contemporary circus production “Catch Me!”
The six performers of Flip FabriQue met while studying at École de Cirque de Québec in the early 2000s. After graduating from the circus school, they went their separate ways to work for some of the biggest circus companies around the world. The skilled Canadian acrobats performed with well-known companies such as Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Eloize. A decade later, Bruno Gagnon, artist director for the company, made a call to his friends from school, telling them he felt like something was missing.
“We’ve done what we wanted for the past five years, so let’s stop everything,” he said he told the group. “Let’s quit our jobs, let’s leave everything behind and gather together and think of something — think of our own show and think of our own calling.”
And thus the performance company Flip FabriQue was born. “Catch Me!,” the contemporary circus production from the company based off the story of their reunion, will be Thursday, Oct. 8 at the Riverwalk Center at 7:30 p.m. Presented by Breckenridge Creative Arts, the show will feature hula hoops, juggling, trampolines, acrobatics and high-flying aerial feats.
“I saw the show in Montreal two years ago,” said Robb Woulfe, president and CEO of Breckenridge Creative Arts. “Montreal has a big circus festival every summer, and this show was the hit of the festival. I just love the energy of this company — they all come from different backgrounds and diff circ groups, and I just thought they had a really fresh approach to how they came to contemporary circus.”
THE CAST OF FLIP FABRIQUE
Flip FabriQue is a young troupe of professional circus artists, featuring members Jérémie Arsenault, Jade Dussault, Bruno Gagnon, Christophe Hamel, Françis Julien and Hugo Ouellet Côté. Based in Quebec, the team has toured extensively over the past year, performing more than 200 shows throughout Germany, Brazil, France, the Netherlands and Canada, as well as a six-month run at the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin. The company created the show “Catch Me!” in September 2012, telling the performers own story through performing arts.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful show, and the company is pretty remarkable,” Woulfe said. “Since they debuted (‘Catch Me!’), they’ve been all over the world with this show — a lot of European markets, continuing to do extended runs up in Canada. They actually had a really nice off-Broadway run at the New Victory (Theater) in New York earlier this year, and it got rave reviews.”
Although only six performers are onstage, there is a lot going on, Gagnon said. From being suspended from an aerial hula-hoop to feats off a trampoline that 8-year-olds only dream about, a writer with The New York Times wondered if the group was from a different planet in her review of the show. Laurel Graeber claimed she “half-expected Agents J and K from ‘Men in Black’ to enter and blast the audience with ray guns to expunge our memories of an alien encounter.”
Gagnon said his favorite part of the show continually changes because each performance is different.
“If this question is asked after the show, I would always answer what is my best moment during that show,” he said. “But it’s a life of performance — we are not going to a theater to watch a movie; it’s live entertainment, so it depends on the public, it depends on if something happened. It depends on if someone had a blooper or if someone gave you a wink when usually they don’t — if they change it up a bit. It depends every day.”
The heavy tour schedule doesn’t seem to bother the group. Gagnon said that is all part of the life of a circus performer.
“That’s what we do,” he said. “I’m a circus performer for over 15 years, it’s part of the traveling set up, tear down, traveling again. Performing, rehearsing, stretching — all that is part of it. I live a healthy lifestyle of circus performer.”
Although this is the first time that the group from Flip Fabrique will perform in Colorado, Gagnon said he performed in Denver for eight weeks in 2007 and has also done some street performance in Boulder.
A SHOW FOR EVERYONE
“Catch Me!,” directed by Olivier Normand, is a mesh of feats and talents attractive to both adults and children. Woulfe said the show has been on his radar for sometime now, and, after he heard the group was doing a small West Coast tour, he immediately reached out to their agent.
“I always love it when you have a mix of adults and kids, and everyone enjoys it,” he said. “I’m a big fan of contemporary circus, and I just love how it can combine daring acrobatics with gymnastics-style choreography.”
Gagnon said the show is geared to appeal to everyone.
“Come to the show, and you will see, the kids will enjoy it, the parents will cry when they see acts,” he said. “No matter what age you are you will find a way to enjoy — to have a specific character or person that you really enjoy, and follow him through the show so you can really be part of it. That’s what we want as a company: to bring the public in with us and play with us onstage.”
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