Circus Meets Street in Cirque Éloize iD at the Artsht Center

Think the cast of Cirque du Soleil battles urban street dancers and you have Cirque Éloize iD. Contemporary cirque director Jeannot Painchaud brings the production to the Ziff Ballet Opera House starting Tuesday for an unusually long run that lasts until September 4.

Sixteen artists hailing from seven different countries come together to perform hand-to-hand acrobatics, contortion and in-line skating along with hip-hop, modern, and break dancing all to an electronica soundtrack.

Painchaud wanted to pit the circus and urban dance disciplines against

one another after noting similarities he thought would make for an

interesting group dynamic. He decided to mix the two in a storybook

manner featuring a series of acts like a duet with a b-boy and


The "iD" part of the title conveys the overall theme of the show. "We

spy two groups of young people challenging each other with their dancing

and acrobatics to express who they are and their idea to change the

world," Painchaud says.

That all may be better understood by checking out this video:

While the urban theme might seem dark and edgy, Painchaud asserts the

show is all about positivism. "The problem when you talk about gangs is

it's often negative. Here you have a positive energy integrating the

circus in the type of battling that they do in the urban dance world.

That gives another poetic dimension to the whole thing that you don't

normally see."

The show closes with a "one-of-a-kind video trampowall" that Painchaud

calls a masterpiece. "I wanted to create the show for and from young

people but at the same time the old people really like the show because

it makes them feel young." The ending usually finds the audience members

on their feet wanting to dance with the performers too.

Cirque Eloize iD first launched in Montreal last year and since then has

toured the country and world with a long European tour slated after

their run here. "I think that the vibe of the show is something that

people from Miami will really get along with."

Cirque Éloize iD opens Tuesday at 8 p.m. and runs through September 4 at the

Ziff Ballet Opera House (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). Tickets cost  $25

to $80. For more information about Cirque iD, visit cirque-eloize.com. 

Call 305-949-6722 or visit arshtcenter.org.

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