Canadian hipster circus coming to Sydney
It’s circus as performance art and beards across the board when the Québécois Cirque Alfonse brings BARBU to the Sydney Opera House this February.
Following the success of Timber! at Sydney Festival 2015 and BARBU at Adelaide Fringe 2016, these big-bellied carnies from Canada’s heartland make their Opera House debut – and stray dangerously close to the edge.
BARBU flings the audience into a fairground time warp of kooky curiosities and feats of spellbinding strength and skill, all inspired by Montreal’s burgeoning circus scene at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.
This is contemporary circus minus political correctness and replete with witty repartee, golf clubs, nails, beer-kegs, hula-hoops and roller skates. (Be warned that there’s also a liberal dash of nudity.)
An electro trad band – electronic music fused with traditional Quebec folk composed by André Gagné and David Simard – transform this heady mix into an exuberant circus rave set to compelling projected visuals by Frédéric Barrette, known for his work on Cirque du Soleil: Solstrom.
Founded in 2005 by Antoine Carabinier-Lépine and his 68-year-old father Alain Carabinier, and managed by Antoine’s mother Louise Lépine, Cirque Alfonse is a dynamic young family of performers that blends circus and performance art with traditional Quebec folklore.
Hailing from Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, Cirque Alfonse’s founding members have worked with some of the most renowned “nouveau cirque” companies around the world. The company comprises acrobats who graduated from the École nationale de cirque de Montréal, as well as a professional dancer, an ex-skiing champion and three talented and versatile musicians.
For more information on this show, which runs February 8 – March 4, visit www.sydneyoperahouse.com.
Photo by Frederic Barrette, courtesy of the Sydney Opera House.