Crépuscule lights up Agora with celebratory fire

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Photo: Danielle Burns

Québécois music group Valaire take a bow in their burgundy tuxedos with gold lapels. 

If you are looking for an evening of entertainment this summer with incredible feats such as doing push ups over a swinging skipping rope, this is the show for you, and you don’t even need to buy tickets. For a second year in a row, acrobats from Flip FabriQue have produced a free outdoor circus show with financial support from the Ville de Quebec. 

On evenings from July 22 to September 4, you can see torches burning at twilight in the open air Agora at the Port of Quebec (120 Rue Dalhousie, next to the Café du Monde) during the approximately 55-minute show. 

Fourteen acrobats dance the night away to the music of Valaire, a five-piece band that occupies a central position on the multi-leveled stage. The Québécois band adds coolness to the show, delivering a mix of genres from jazz, electronic, pop, hip-hop and funk. They will be performing at the Agora all summer, and if you want to catch them again, their next venue concert will be at the Anti Bar in Quebec City on September 21. 

As the name of the show,  Crépuscule – Raviver les braises or Twilight –Rekindling the embers, suggests, the production begins as the sun is going down. The opening scene is dark and creepy, with people in white masks and gloves descending the rocky slope of the stage. Acrobats are dressed in black and white business suits, but curiously their white shirts look scorched with red, pink, purple, yellow and blue flames. An acrobat twirling a huge metal cube breaks the ice, while the mob of masked clones look on. The shells of abandoned cars are barely noticeable under street lamps. Things start to heat up when a torch is lit and we realize the acrobats are wearing welding masks and that fire is central to the performance. But unfortunately the theme doesn’t get any clearer. 

While last year’s presentation by the same director, Olivier Normand, had a nostalgic theme revolving around childhood games like being the king, stealing things or being rescued, this year’s theme is harder to pinpoint and the show suffers from a lack of continuity. There are many exciting circus elements such as a fire breather, balance beams, trampolines, acrobatics and displays of hand balancing strength, but it seems like something is missing – a purpose, perhaps. Of course, it is still worth seeing (especially as a free show) and it is an entertaining show, but unlike the 2015 show, I wouldn’t call it great. Be your own critic and let us know what you think.  

Crépuscule – Raviver les braises can be seen on Tuesday to Sunday evenings from July 22 to August 7 starting at 9:00 p.m.; from August 9 to 21 starting at 8:30 p.m.; and from August 23 to September 4 starting at 8:00 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to start times.