[Dixielandjazz] The Music is "Visual"

Gluetje1 at aol.com Gluetje1 at aol.com
Sat Nov 11 08:41:12 PST 2006

Anyone who spends money on "Delirium" and hates it, please let me be first  
to say, "I told you so".  I had seen and heard so much on TV about them and  
was so excited to have a chance to go see (and hear) them.  Boy did I  feel 
gyped, bored, and have my ear drums tastelessly beat to death 95% of the  time.  
And I am very capable of enjoying a "drum" concert, consider Baba  Olatungi and 
Taiko drummers some of best concerts I ever  attended. 
 Even the visuals got very boring, Steve.  Hard to describe, but  then I 
don't think many people in delirium enjoy it.  Thus I began to feel  that the 
point of the production was to make sure I wanted "out of  Delirium".  I did.  I'm 
still willing to assume Cirque has  produced much better shows, may do so 
again in the future.  Oh, it  wasn't just me, 34 year old daughter and her  
boyfriend felt the same,  multi-generational family who took the kids, etc., anyone 
I talked to who saw  it.  It did mean I will hesitate to be a future ticket 
buyer to a  Cirque production.
In a message dated 11/11/2006 8:26:51 A.M. Central Standard Time,  
barbonestreet at earthlink.net writes:

Many of  us on the DJML have preached that the music should be accompanied by
visual  cues. Below is an interesting parallel to that, whereby the Cirque
dui  Soleil foregoes their custom built indoor stage presentations to perform
in  large venues before 20,000 people or so.

Are outdoor stadiums next for  them? Is this an updated version of Cartoon

Steve Barbone  

Call It a Concert, but Keep  Your Eyes Wide Open

NY TIMES By JON PARELES - November 10,  2006

Cirque du Soleil undersells ³Delirium² by billing it as a concert.  The show,
which started a two-night stand at Madison Square Garden on  Wednesday and
moves to Nassau Coliseum tomorrow and Sunday, is an anthology  of songs from
previous productions, and it takes place in sports arenas  rather than Cirque
du Soleil¹s custom-built structures. The songs have  lyrics for the first
time, mostly in English. But music is the least of the  show¹s attractions.

³Delirium² is a full-scale spectacle, with nearly  four dozen performers in
Cirque¹s usual array of acrobatic feats and  technical razzle-dazzle, eerie
tableaus and phantasmagoric costumes, all  tied together with
internationalist music and kitschy profundity. ³Life  begins and ends as a
question that has no answer,² a voice intones at the  start. ³We are
fragments of eternity floating through space and time.² Uh,  O.K.

The stage runs the length of the arena, with spectators on either  side and
multistory floor-to-ceiling scrims and video screens. ³Delirium²  has even
less narrative than most Cirque shows; it¹s just the crazy dream  of a
character who spends most of the show dangling from a balloon, dancing  along
to the music and action that is below and sometimes alongside him.  Another
character races around on stilts, gibbering and kibbitzing, while  women loom
as larger-than-life singers ‹ one wears a tent dress the size of  a circus
tent, holding an entire dance troupe ‹ or ethereal spirits.  Eventually the
balloon man finds love.

Along the way, with towering  video projections on the scrims, there are
allusions to the ancient  elements as well as to science (giant red blood
cells) and to Nature, with  one magnificent scene that has the troupe
performing amid giant vines. The  production is also about geometry, from the
symmetries of four acrobats  supporting one another in gravity-defying
formations to spherical balloons  to giant curved platforms that can suggest
boats or precipices.

The  songs are rooted in the 1980s: that era of booming drumbeats,  gauzy
synthesizer tones, gothic grandeur and newly discovered international  beats.
The music in ³Delirium² features stately rock marches tinged with  exotica,
Peter Gabriel style. (The backup band, Gaia, has plenty of hand  drums.)
There¹s Senegalese-style singing and percussion ‹ from two brothers  who
arrive in grand robes, El Hadji Diouf and Karim Diouf ‹ as well as  tango
violin, quasimedieval chants, samba drumming and Miles  Davis-tinged
jazz-rock. Amanda Stott belts an electropop song, ³One Love,²  that a younger
Madonna wouldn¹t spurn. Robbie Dillon¹s lyrics, well, they  run along the
lines of ³The door is open/but your mind is  closed.²

But the music doesn¹t have to hold the foreground ‹ not with  Cirque du
Soleil¹s visuals. Dancers bound and skitter across the stage;  trapeze acts
hang in fabric cocoons; a woman twirls half a dozen silvery  hoops while
still looking slinky. The big beat just adds to the  enveloping,
hallucinatory splendor.

³Delirium² continues at 2 p.m.  and 8 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at Nassau
Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Turnpike,  Uniondale, N.Y., (212) 307-7171.

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list