OSWEGO — A circus wave — the English meaning of Vague de Cirque — strikes the shore of Lake Ontario when eight versatile international acrobats perform in a heated yellow tent on the SUNY Oswego campus with 7:30 p.m. shows Wednesday through Friday, April 15 to 17, and at 2 p.m. April 18.
Quebec-based Vague de Cirque is the creation of Alain Boudreaux and Noemie Gervais, two accomplished alums of Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Eloize with their own vision for the popular art form.
While major circus spectacles thrive on glamor and polish, Vague de Cirque adopts a simpler aesthetic, recalling the era when nomadic troupes traveled from town to town and performed in intimate spaces — when the arrival of the circus tent was a festive community occasion, said John Shaffer, director of the college’s Artswego Performing Arts Series.
“They’re complete entertainers, blending outstanding trapeze, juggling, rope work and other contemporary circus skills with brilliant physical comedy,” Shaffer said.
Vague de Cirque’s current show, “Carousel and Clothesline,” was featured on a fall tour of Australia and New Zealand. Named “Best of Fringe” at New Zealand’s Dunedin Fringe Festival, its storyline follows a hapless assemblage of aspiring circus performers.
Each Vague de Cirque artist portrays a specific character throughout the evening, until the particular foibles of this ragtag group become hilariously familiar, Shaffer explained.
But the antics and banter fall away whenever Vague de Cirque’s formidable skills are showcased — on or high above the revolving stage. Audience members, seated cabaret-style around the stage, remain closely engaged with the action.
Boudreau and Gervais are graduates of the renowned Ecole Nationale de Cirque in Montreal.
Performing together as Duo Symbiose, they were silver medalists at the 2002 International Circus Festival in Paris. They now provide the creative leadership of Vague de Cirque.
During their stay on campus, company members will visit college classes in stage movement and arts business.
A class in the modern languages and literatures department will have an opportunity to discuss the circus life — in French.
In turn, student volunteers will help raise the tent and share other practical tasks during two days of preparation.
Vague de Cirque’s tent will rise between the Marano Campus Center and Rudolph Road. Tickets are $20 for the general public ($5 for students and children) and may be obtained at all SUNY Oswego box offices, online at tickets.oswego.edu or by calling 315-312-2141.
Parking is included in the price of a ticket and is available in lots adjacent to the Marano Campus Center.
Patrons with disabilities needing assistant should call 312-2141 in advance of a performance.
For more information, visit oswego.edu/arts