Chico Performances presents the high-flying acrobatics of Cirque de Eloize


Cirque de Eloize opens with an energetic song and dance number. Photo credit: Carly Maxstone

Students, staff and community members filed into the Laxson Auditorium prepared for a typical acrobatic show. However, the show presented by Cirque de Eloize which included high-risk, high-flying acting, was more than the crowd expected.

On Feb. 13, Cirque de Eloize performed for one night only. With tickets at only $10, the show was a huge success with almost a full house in attendance.

The show opened with the performance of a band called The Vultures’ Drawl and Country Flare set around a small fireplace bringing the audience back to the Wild West.

The music continued through the whole production as performers flew across the stage, dancing and acting out multiple scenes reminiscent of an Old Western saloon.

Each character had a specific role that was made obvious through their expressions, words, movements and, for some of the characters, song.

The costumes were extremely well made and matched the theme. While keeping the Wild West look, one would expect the costumes were also practical for the tricks and maneuvers performed throughout the production. Overall, it was very impressive work by the costume designer, Sarah Balleux.

The story was told through acrobatics, interactions between actors, the music played on the banjo, fiddle and guitar by The Vultures and incorporated a variety of sound effects.

The performers would move in seemingly impossible ways by curving and contorting their bodies to give the illusion of a gunshot or a bar fight, for example.

Acrobatic movement to the music and sound effects surprised the audience throughout the performance.

Performers would fly across the stage, mimicking a fight, as they would perform acrobatic flips and fighting moves, like kicks and punches.

One actor would throw another, who would land on the stage floor, where there was no padding, who would then grab another actor to throw. It was a never-ending cycle.

Everyone in the audience would gasp in horror as one performer looked as if they were going to miss their landing. But with a twist and turn in the air, the actor would land softly on the ground.

With scenes involving love, romantic conflict, fighting for dominance and death, the show was full of emotional highs and lows. Portraying the beauty of life and the fulfillment of one’s deepest desires in a comedic and gratifying way, Cirque de Eloize both terrified and satisfied the audience.

Hannah Yeager can be reached at [email protected] or @Hannah_K_Yeager on Twitter.