Cirque du Soleil to present ‘Quidam’ at Mullins Center

By Alissa Mesibov

With its eccentric makeup and simply stated unbelievable body manipulation acts, Cirque du Soleil returns to the Mullins Center to present its unique show, “Quidam.”

The show revolves around Zoe, a young girl who has lost her excitement for life. Her escape from her disinterested parents and dull existence is the world of “Quidam,” where its inhabitants have vibrant and vivacious personalities. “Quidam” is a word used to reference an anonymous person and in this imaginary world everyone is anonymous. Anyone Zoe meets could end up playing an important role in her life.

“Quidam” consists of 11 acts, many of which display circus classics such as expert aerial acts and juggling. Other acts highlight pieces entirely unique to Cirque du Soleil, like Diabolos, an agility act involving Chinese yo-yos, according to the “Quidam” official website. New extremes can be expected even from the classic circus acts. Cirque du Soleil’s eight other productions have each pushed the boundaries of circus movements with tricks that all shock and amaze even those artists in the same industry, and “Quidam” will also undoubtedly bring forth the traveling acrobats’ creative boldness.

Cirque du Soleil, or Circus of the Sun, was founded in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and has inarguably become the world’s most famous circus. Known for artistic innovation and dedication to their work, the international company of Cirque du Soleil never fails to dazzle and amaze their audience by combining music, dance, gymnastics and circus acts; many of these stunts are immensely difficult, complicated and at times, outright mind blowing.

While the company is known for its amazing acts and acrobatic feats, storytelling has been sacrificed to make way for spectacle. This was certainly true of “Alegria,” the last Cirque du Soleil show to play at the Mullins Center, in September 2009. As the director, artistic guide and choreographer of “Alegria” each had a hand in creating “Quidam,” there is reasonable fear for “Quidam” to have a similar issue.

The one spectacle element which audiences can forget about seeing in “Quidam” is the elaborate costumes featured in other shows. The official website of the show says that “Quidam is the first [Cirque du Soleil] show to use everyday clothing – though adapted in its acrobatic acts.” It seems to be an odd approach for a company known for its extravagancy and dream-like quality to reduce an aspect of the show to anything resembling what could be called “everyday.” Perhaps it will build a bridge between viewer and performer by giving them one familiar element, before throwing them into the deep end of the foreign world of Cirque du Soleil. If this is true, it may mend the company’s usual issue with storytelling, as it will be easier for audiences to buy Zoe’s world and story.

The only way to know for sure is to go and see the show.

Tickets are available at and the Mullins Center box office. Adult tickets range from $37 to $102, children 12 and under range from $30 to $67, and military, student, and senior tickets range from $33.50 to $69.50. “Quidam” will be performed beginning today, Oct. 5, through Oct. 9. Doors open an hour before the show is scheduled to begin.

Alissa Mesibov can be reached for comment at [email protected].