While, in the distance, the ring road continues its ridiculous course, night falls on Zingaro, a majestic wooden vessel posted at the gates of Paris. In the half-light of the circus, a singular journey is being prepared, on the fringes of the world and paradoxically, in its very heart, closer to an immemorial and regenerating beat.
For the second year, Bartabas resumes with the form of his debut, the cabaret, through which he explores the theme of exile. After Yiddish culture in 2021, he plunges into the world of the Irish Travellers, an Irish nomadic people whose squire shares the love of horses and the insatiable quest for freedom.
Through striking tableaux and perilous numbers, punctuated by poetic snapshots and traditional songs sung a cappella by the Irish artist Thomas McCarthy, the spectator reconnects with raw emotions, buried in some primitive depths. The acrobats and their impressive equine acolytes take him from surprise to surprise as if exploring a vast book of images, each more bewitching than the next.
Shaping, like a craftsman, the springs of a visual magic, Bartabas alternates invitations to contemplation – in front of the burst of flames under the vault, or in front of the fiery ballet of a colt lost in the mist – , nods to generous humor and crazy energy sequences. A stupefying flying rope number particularly thrilled the audience. Wearing the head of a goat, the circus artist Leonardi Montresor soars blindly into the air for breathtaking figures.
The jumps of the riders and riders in balance on horses galloping around the track also command admiration through a fascinating dialogue between human and animal. A murmur, a barely perceptible wave of the hand mark these subtle exchanges, the breeding ground for a show of polymorphic beauty.
Dazzling play of contrasts
A wedding banquet gives rise to explosions of joy, sublimated by the swift circles of the horses which carry with them the hearts of the public returned to a childish jubilation. Wonder also seizes him during this Irish dance performed at the top of a giant barrel, then at the irruption of this irresistible herd of adventure-loving sheep.
Surprising carts cross the track: we find the sheep breeder, busy shearing his animals, the tinker, young girls with flowery hair, a man in his bath… A hilarious succession of bits of life which contrasts, in a suspended moment, with the moving image of this long snake of miniature caravans, symbols of a people always wandering.
A past master in the art of chiaroscuro, Bartabas probes these wandering souls and simultaneously reveals that of the spectator, however sedentary he may be, thus reminded of a common humanity. The paths are endless but the journey is unique, seem to tell us these bits of tangled stories: an ephemeral splendor, between shadow and light.