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Machine de Cirque – not your average Circus

posted Aug 13, 2018, 9:14 AM by Kathy Carr
A covered RV with the Machine de Cirque logo on it rolls into Car­berry Fairgrounds on Monday afternoon. It takes a bit of negotiating, but technician Leondre and road manager Valerie find an angle to park at where the ground is level and there will be enough space for their lighting equipment and rollout stage to be set. Valerie lets me know that the cast will be arriving shortly to start setup.  Sure enough, a medium sized van appears; the cast comes out, lathers up with sunscreen and sets to work pulling rigging, lights, speakers, props, costumes, and instruments out piece by piece from the RV.  
The performers and two crew members work seamlessly in a routine that has clearly been carefully orchestrated to set up; all the lighting, sound equipment and con­vertible stage into the awe inspiring spectacle that is the modern circus show Truck Stop. They take four hours to transform a covered RV into an interactive set that portrays six different environments, they take a short break for food and water, and then start running their routines and getting ready to perform. 
The audience starts filtering in an hour before the performance is set to start. People begin setting chairs at a small distance from the rope stretched across the front of the performance area. The performers notice this and moments before the performance is about to start they encourage everyone to move closer to the stage and the crowd eagerly accepts this in­vitation.  
The intimacy of being so close to the acrobats as they perform their routines is exhilarating. The energy is electric and the crowd is captivated from the moment the performers begin flying around the interactive set. The show un­folds and through careful set design, contemporary movement in­tertwined with astonishing acrobatics the audience is being transported through time and space. It doesn’t matter what age you are or what experience you have with performance art; this show uses humor in a way that strikes a universal chord with any audience, so that anyone can understand and en­joy the performance.
The Machine de Cir­que performance of Truck Stop here in Ca­rberry was an amazing experience that the Carberry Plains Arts Council feels very fortunate to have had the opportunity to provide for this community. We would like to thank Alan Christison, Bob from The Robin’s Nest, Meyer’s Meats, and Falk Pharmacy for everything they contributed to make this astounding performance happen here in Carberry.

by Amy Urquhart