La Bulle/The Bubble

Toronto's Corpus Dance Projects

Muriel Cavanhac

Joe Szekeres

La magie de ‘La Bulle’, c’est merveilleuse / The marvellous magic of ‘The Bubble’
(This review is based on the first preview performance of ‘La Bulle’/ ‘The Bubble’.)

My word, artist David Danzon offers a remarkably charismatic solo performance of complete and focused concentration. During my undergraduate years at Western, I had minored in French language, culture and literature and had studied some elements of the art of mime. I remembered seeing various interpretive photos in print of Pierrot, the iconic dreamer, dressed in black and white and with the thick white pasted looking facial makeup. I often wondered how an artist might reveal how he/she/they would bring Pierrot to life, and how might I respond in seeing an artist present such a quirky spectral of this sad stock character of a clown especially in the twenty first century world.

David Danzon moves beyond just a mere representation. His ethereally fascinating Pierrot remained enchantingly haunting for me during the hour-long production. To watch someone showcase the intricately challenging artistry form of mime with such poetic grace and fixed attention was enthralling. Mr. Danzon is a gifted performer, and the elegant silence in his sleek movements hooked me immediately and I allowed him to take me on a metaphysical journey of lights, colour, and sound.

The press release stated ‘La Bulle’ was conceived before Covid-19 and it was “already meant to explore themes of social distancing and solitude before it became a concern for all. This new original work also speaks of an equally contemporary paradox: achieving privacy in an increasingly exposed and monitored world.” I smiled when I read this statement because the production uniquely emphasized for me the social distancing and solitude I’ve felt during this time personally and how to reconnect again in a world that has been so heavily influenced from the results of all this privacy we’ve experienced.

Upon entering the courtyard of the Berkeley Castle, a huge balloon like see through bubble appears in which Mr. Danzon, dressed as Pierrot, sits in the middle. There are objects inside the bubble which contain some of the props to be used. Additionally, there are chairs physically distant around the bubble for the audience to sit. We are encouraged if we wish to do so to get up from our seats and move around to watch the action. I remain in my chair as my visual vantage point was perfect for me.

Danzon is focused on a game in trying to make a ball move on the top of a large wooden peg. He spends a few minutes moving himself around in his seat to the various sightlines so that each vantage point watches and waits with bated breath (at least I was) to see if he would be successful in lodging the ball on top of the peg. I won’t spoil the surprise and tell you if he is successful or not.

And then the pièce de resistance: to follow how Danzon (as Pierrot) utilizes his craft to invite some members of the audience to step forward and become part of his bubble for a few moments. Through their laughter, the young children adored the connection he was making to them and to others. At one point, Mr. Danzon beckons one audience member forward to outstretch her arms and appear as if she is inviting him for a hug on the outside of the bubble. On the inside, Danzon uses a white marker and then traces the outline of the person for a few moments. He then admires the work he’s completed on the inside and then steps toward that outline and stretches out his arms to receive the other person’s hug.

Loved this connection Mr. Danzon made with someone.

I hesitate to spoil the other charming elements in the performance, so all I’m going to say is I found myself thinking about the movements I make when I swim somewhere. Pay careful attention to the moment where Pierrot swims. So rather fetching. And I didn’t want his Christmas celebration to conclude at all as I was having so much fun watching him and watching the kids in the audience respond so believably to him.

Absolutely magical, but underneath all this is a tad bit of ‘tristesse’ since we celebrated Christmas and our summer vacations solo during the pandemic. Danzon at one point wrote on the bubble, ‘C’est un peu triste, non?’ which reflected what we all experienced during the holidays.

FINAL COMMENTS: La magie de ‘La Bulle’, c’est merveilleuse pour toute la famille. Allez-y à voir un bon spectacle. Vraiment remarquable!

Recherchez vos billets gratuits en ligne maintenant avant qu'ils ne disparaissent.

Théâtre français de Toronto et Jami present ‘LA BULLE’ by Corpus
A Silent Solo Outdoor Performance

Conceived, directed, and designed by David Danzon & Carolin Lindner (CORPUS)

Presented by Théâtre français de Toronto and Jamii.

Performed by David Danzon

Costume Design by Francoise Autran

No Spoken Word: From September 2 – 5, 2021 (Thursday to Sunday) at The Berkeley Castle Courtyard, 2 Berkeley Street, Toronto (The Esplanade)

Running Time: 60 minutes

FREE TICKETS. For reservations, please call 416-534-6604 or visit www.theatrefrancais.com.

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