It’s circus as performance art and beards across the board when the Québécois Cirque Alfonsebrings BARBU to the Sydney Opera House this February.
Following the success of Timber! (Sydney Festival 2015) and BARBU (Adelaide Fringe 2016), these big-bellied carnies from Canada’s francophone 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, roller skates and a liberal dash of nudity.
An electro trad band – electronic music fused with traditional Quebec folk composed by André Gagnéand David Simard – transform this heady mix into an exuberant circus rave set to compelling projected visuals by Frédéric Barrette (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.
May the best beard win!