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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Le Cirque Invisible

My first visit to the Beiteddine Festival today was just fantastic. I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the act put together by Victoria Chaplin (Charlie Chaplin's daughter) and her husband, French actor Jean-Baptiste Thierree in "Le Cirque Invisible" or "The Invisible Circus".
I have to say I was deeply impressed by their performance.
In a fine example of equilibrium, a rapidly alternating mood was established between the sheer quirkiness and light humored spirit of Jean-Baptiste's ludicrous but seriously amusing skits, and Victoria's more enthralling acting prowess; the audience never seemed to get enough, and wanted more, of both extremes. The show was an interspersion of skits by either actor alone; Jean-Baptiste Thierree lightens up the mood by playing a few magic tricks to funky music, and as he leaves the stage, Victoria Chaplin strides in with her more poetic and graceful performance.
She simply graced the audience with a masterful display of fluid, stepless movement and manipulation of props ranging from the simplest umbrellas to some of the most intricate mechanical devices I have ever seen on stage. Her fluidity in motion and her fixed expressionless face played perfect partner to an immersive musical score, a fantastic wardrobe, and precision lighting, in the creation of a truly psychotropic performance that left the audience hypnotized. Victoria's uncanny resemblance to her late father went beyond her facial features, with her beautiful acting and showmanship speaking volumes of Charlie Chaplin's legacy. With her 60 year-old body performing like a young athlete's, she made easy work of cable walking and some truly insane gymnastics and contorsion art to stun the audience even harder.
I had gone to Beiteddine expecting nothing more than a 'circus' and I was pleased to attend the fine act of precision choreography that is Le Cirque Invisible. Don't miss it.