What’s cool, fun and a little bit crazy?
Flip Fabrique’s latest show Blizzard. It’s a new show for the contemporary circus company that marks its first performance in Markham in November.
“We’re excited. It’s our first time, so we’re stoked to go there,” said Bruno Gagnon, artistic director, juggler and acrobat. “It’s always nice to visit a city for the first time.”
The show was inspired by Gagnon’s childhood growing up in Quebec City. One of three siblings, all brothers in a non-circus family, he was the only one interested in acrobatics. In the winter, he would climb fences and go on rooftops and jump off in the snow, scaring his charismatic, flamboyant mother.
“Literally the snow was the beginning of circus for me,” he said, adding his first glimpse of anything circus related was a winter parade in Quebec. “I saw this guy wearing a big coat and snowsuit and boots, and he did standing backflips on the ground.
“I was impressed, I would never think this would be possible. So that’s where I saw someone doing acrobatics in the snow.”
Gagnon started in circus school at the age of 11 and left at 18 to join the Cirque du Soleil’s show Corteo. Some two million spectators and 1,534 representations later, he had had enough. He missed his home and his friends, so he started his own company Flip Fabrique, which includes many of his friends from circus life.
Blizzard features a cast of seven acrobats and one musician, Ben Nesrallah, who wrote all the music in the show. It also includes some high energy, crazy acrobatics, a hula hoop act with a pinch of Hawaiian vibe, jugging balls, bouncing balls in the air, a huge cube and a trampoline. They even play some small instruments such as a guitar.
Gagnon’s favourite act is an air track 8×33 feet inflatable bouncing mat. He also likes the bouncing balls on plexiglass act.
“It looks really cool, and it’s fun to do because people don’t understand how it works,” he said. “We have a lot of fun – it’s a big show.”
Blizzard also pulls on the emotions. Adults understand and appreciate the meaning and feel the nostalgia and the wonder behind all the images he creates on stage. While it is not a kid’s show, children will enjoy it too.
Blizzard premiered in Amsterdam earlier this summer. It is one of three touring shows for the Quebec-based company.
Flip Fabrique’s Blizzard unfolds on Saturday, Nov. 30 at the Flato Markham Theatre, at 7 p.m.
Visit flatomarkhamtheatre.ca for more details.
Photo: Bruno Gagnon leads a group of professional circus artists in a show that explores the wonders of a winter storm. Photo credit: David Cannon.