Flip Fabrique

Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival opens with exuberance and panache.
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 Image: Flip Fabrique in Transit photograph courtesy Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival.

The young Quebec circus troupe Flip Fabrique kicked off the Montreal Complètment Cirque Festival with their new show Transit. Filled with dynamism, high-octane energy and an infectious joie de vivre, the show received a standing ovation from the whooping Montreal crowd.

Formed in 2011 by graduates from the École de Cirque de Québec, Flip Fabrique has already achieved considerable success touring widely internationally, and this new show Transit celebrates the camaraderie and trust that has developed between the company members over their many tours.

Transit starts with a loud knocking coming from a pile of road cases at the back of the stage. One of the road cases opens  to reveal  5 acrobats crammed together inside it and as they burst onto the stage the show begins.

Transit is characterized by playfulness, a constantly innovative approach to the use of the circus equipment, and by a breakneck physical exuberance that is breathtaking. Whilst the high level of physical skill displayed by all the performers throughout the show is remarkable, Jade Dussault’s performance with hoops is stunning. Beautifully lit so the hoops seem to be filled with light as they circle around her body, she moves with such precision and artistry that the performance stays in the memory for the sheer lyricism and poetry of her movement.

The playfulness of the troupe is apparent when the other acrobats, all male, take her hoops and imitate the sensuous and lyrical way that she moves, and then purloin the hoops to use to in diverse ways throughout the show, including performing dive-rolls and acrobatic jumps through them.

A standout section is the exhilarating trampolining section during which the acrobats use the piled road cases as a wall, bouncing up from the trampoline to stand on  top of it, and then dropping into heart-stopping  acrobatic twists and somersaults. In this section, the joy of playing with spectator expectations is apparent with the acrobats  dancing and moving together on top of the wall and disguising the physical preparation of the trampolinist so the spectator can never tell which performer is going to drop to the trampoline.

Other notable sections include a skipping section with multiple skipping ropes turning and moving inside each other at different speeds, and an innovative juggling section using clubs illuminated in varied colours that create mind-boggling, illuminated, mathematical patterns and traces through the darkness of the theatre space.

Transit is highly visual, playful, exuberant and fun – catch this show if you can!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Flip Fabrique
Acrobats: Hugo Ouellet Côté, Jérémie Arsenault, Francis Julien, Christophe Hamel, Jade Dussault, Bruno Gagnon
General and Artistic Direction: Bruno Gagnon
Director: Alexandre Fecteau
Scenographer: Ariane Sauvé
Costumes: Geneviève Tremblay
Lighting: Bruno Matte
Musical Score: Antony Roy

Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival
7 July, La Tohu Montreal​

Katie Lavers
About the Author
Dr. Katie Lavers is a writer, director, producer and researcher based in Sydney.