Pop Culture

Whimsical Cirque du Soleil show 'Quidam' tours the world

Canadian circus troupe first performed the show in 1996.

Quidam Cirque du SoleilQuidam Cirque du SoleilA photo from Cirque du Soleil's performance of "Quidam" in 2010. A new version of the show is playing in Tel Aviv, Thailand, Australia and New Zealand in 2015. (Photo: Rogerio Barbosa / AFP/Getty Images)

If you've ever seen a show by the Montreal-based circus troupe Cirque du Soleil, you know that their shows are breathtaking and bizarre all at once. Amazing trapeze and high-wire artists who defy gravity and physics perform shows that have loose plots that can mostly be described as "weird, but good weird."

"Quidam" is no different. It's one of Cirque's longest-running shows. It was first performed at their big top in Montreal in 1996, and the show was adapted for arenas in 2010. It's playing in Israel this month and will tour Thailand, Australia and New Zealand through the end of February.

Quidam Cirque du SoleilA performance of Cirque du Soleil's "Quidam" in 2010. It delves into the imagination of a child who is bored and alienated from her parents. (Photo: Rogerio Barbosa/AFP/Getty Images)

It's also one of Cirque's more whimsical shows. It depicts the world that a young girl named Zoe, who's bored and alienated from her parents, imagines when she wants to escape. The main character, Quidam, is described as a headless man who is "a nameless passerby, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past and swallowed by the crowd. It could be anyone, anybody."

The show has gotten good reviews over the years. In 2009, a British newspaper wrote, "The evening was a reminder that circus, at its virtuoso best, seeks to persuade us that human beings might, by an effort of will, turn out to be some other beast entirely: winged, infinitely supple, mythical."

Here's video of a 2008 performance that shows the amazing heights the Cirque performers reach:


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