The sun was noticeably absent in the production of Le Noir. Touted as the ‘dark side of Cirque’ the show, juxtaposing the concepts of innocence, darkness and sexuality, definitely lives up to its name.
The performance proceeds along a timeline of darkness with both the use of colour and the element of risk used to mark its progression. Beginning in white, the show starts off with graceful and elegant choreography and hints towards the perception of purity. It then darkens to the second phase, where we see all the artists in red and the performance takes on a much stronger sensual nature. As the colours deepen, so does the intensity of the acts and in red we begin to see some truly magnificent acrobatic feats. It all comes to a climax at the end, shrouded in black with the aptly named Wheel of Death.
Bringing everything together is a fantastic emcee, Salvador Salangsang the clown. He masterfully engages the crowd and turns the show from being a purely spectator event into an interactive game. Participants are brought from the crowd onto the stage and given tasks to perform, which range from playing air drums to cat walking and provocative dancing.
The element of sexuality was pervasive throughout the night, with the costumes becoming more scarce as the show progressed and the innuendos become less subtle.
The acts were simply magnificent and on more than one point in the evening did I notice those around me tensely perched on the edge of their seats, hands to their mouths out of either shock or nerves.
Nicole Mazga is a law student from Canada currently learning how to make the world a better place in Melbourne. When she’s not in the books you can find her consuming any cultural event she can get her hands on.
Le Noir – Dark Side Of Cirque runs until Saturday 18 April at the Arts Centre Melbourne. The venue is accessible.