Nouveau Cirque – a cirque sole play – comes to Maine, photos by Ramona du Houx

by Ramona du Houx

Harrison Bergeron Escapes from the Zoo was a theater in the round production with aerial dance and multimedia messaging— using iPads. No matter where you looked something was happening from the ceiling to the floor and in the balconies above the stage. This nouveau cirque production incorporated aerial silks, dance, original music, seamless choreography, theatre, clowning, visual art, and media design all into a high impactful story of forty-two minutes.

For Maine, Harrison Bergeron Escapes from the Zoo was the first true nouveau cirque play.

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Adapted by the cast from Kurt Vonnegut’s eight-page story, Harrison Bergeron is a social satire, set in the future where citizens have been rendered equal by having their talents handicapped. The thought provoking show, put on by Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and Dance, Kathyrn Syssoyeva, and her class at Bowdoin College, enticed and delighted as the audience witnessed the resilience of the human spirit and an iron fist that controls— by restricting creativity.

The show was devised over the course of a semester by Syssoyeva’s theater class “Interdisciplinary Performance-Making.” The students created a world taken over by cooperation’s and their media networks. The compelling story line portrayed a future where everyone must conform or suffer. The students saw the opportunity to use some symbolism of recent world uprisings around the room as backdrops for the story.

I was fortunate to be able to photograph the nouveau cirque three times which enabled me to absorb the atmosphere created of the visual splendor.

If you would like to read more about the play please go here.

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