Unusual acrobatics at Musée d'Orsay
Tuesday, 27 November 2018
streb-parisThe event explored Picasso's passion for the circus
France - Six performers from Streb Extreme Action performed a real aerial feat at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris this Autumn, with a little help from Unusual Rigging.
The event, which took place on 13-14 October, was part of a festive family weekend hosted by Theatre du Châtelet and the Musée d'Orsay, exploring Picasso's passion for the circus which is expressed in the blue and pink period of his work.
Unusual's Robin Elias has worked with Elizabeth Streb on several of her other projects over the years including performances on the London Eye and on the front of Bergdorf Goodman's New York department store as it revealed its Christmas holiday window display. He explained. "This was a fantastic project to be involved with. Our task was to help the phenomenal acrobats perform safely in the nave of the Orsay on the faces of two towers...all the while making sure that the fabric of this beautiful museum wasn't damaged or altered in the process."
He added: "This was the first time the museum had ever had an event like this taking place within its walls and, quite naturally they were not used to the level of intrusion by people like us in the run up to the event. We're rather expert at working in museums and listed buildings and we have ways of working which mean that neither the venue or the amazing art within are damaged or at risk in any way. The staff at the Musée d'Orsay needed lots of reassurance that we knew what we were doing."
Unusual's Paul Taylor worked closely with New York based Elizabeth Streb who provided a brief in the form of drawings and written timings. "Using Kinesys we programmed a sequence of consecutively linked cues for the six performers who would spend ten minutes performing down the side of the 20m high towers. This was a mammoth task and we spent hours and hours pre-programming the show – possibly the most cues in eight minutes every attempted on Kinesys."
The result was a jaw dropping display of beautifully choreographed movements which entertained the watching crowds for two consecutive nights. Robin concluded: "Streb Extreme Action are more than just acrobats – they're magicians. Their performances are awe-inspiring and to be a part of that magic, in such a historic, beautiful venue is a real privilege."
(Jim Evans)

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