The Magic Touch

Through my research, I came across this documentary made about Dominique Lemieux, the costume designer. It was released in 2005 but appears to only be available to organizations and libraries and not personal use.  The director, Carlos Ferrand Zavala, documents Lemieux’s life from childhood to the creation of Corteo. Included in this film is a lot of footage of Quidam while they were in Japan.

There are a couple of stills available and a short trailer of the first minute or so. Perhaps I should research this further and attempt to obtain a copy…

Click on this image for the main website:

Click here for the distribution site with the trailer

KTV Japan

I recieved this brochure from Shayne Courtright, the former German Wheel artist, in 2003 while they were on tour in Japan.  It is from KTV (Kansai Telecasting Company) advertising various shows making their way through Japan.  Although the images within are small, you can see Denise Gonzalez as Zoe and Marina Trouchina for Handbalancing.

Quidam in Zurich

Since I first saw Quidam in 1998, I have accumulated a lot of artifacts through various means. My brother spent a semester traveling through Europe and crossed paths with Quidam when they were in Zürich during their first European tour. Though he didn’t attend the show, he did pick me up a brochure.  I especially like this brochure because of the great photo of Andrea Ziegler as Fritz. Keep checking back, I will be posting more rare finds in the coming days and weeks!  Click on the jump to see the other side of the brochure and click on the images for a closer view.

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Recent Footage

While going through the recent press videos and video clips of Quidam on youtube, I came across something peculiar. Look at :55 seconds in of this video:

This is the Petit Salon opening sequence of the show. But something is off. Zoe is sitting and facing John instead of the audience. Also, she is wearing the hat and it falls off as she stands up. It is then that the scene around her begins to drift away (her parents, the rug, etc.) Then John takes the bowler hat from her as she attempts to put it on again. This is extremely bizarre because it is a central turning point in the scene that when she places the hat on her head for the first time she is transported into the world of Quidam. Is this a mistake? Did they change the choreography?
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General concepts behind Quidam

I’m a bit Wayback Machine happy this evening. I’ve been pulling up old 1997 and 1998 versions of the Cirque du Soleil website to get more dates for the Itinerary page but got sidetracked by the page they dedicated to Quidam and the general concepts of the show.  A lot of the quotes and descriptions are ones you will still see today. But there is something outdated they have scrapped   Because the show premiered four years before the new millenium, there is a lot more emphasis of the show anticipating the 21st century.

The page begins with a quote from the Franco Dragone:

This show highlights our frailties and our anguish in the face of the new millennium that lies before us. It also underlines differences, conveying positive feelings and resentment and confronting our dreams with our nightmares.

Quidam is a more scripted show; it integrates performance and theatricality to a greater degree than previous productions, and draws on the emotional relationships between the performers in the troupe.

[Source: Cirque du Soleil Inc. 1996]

They again bring up the new millenium when marketing the album:

“When I’m composing for Cirque du Soleil, a lot of my inspiration comes from the work of other creators,” he explains. “And that was the big challenge of Quidam: to maintain unity while dealing with a changing structure, costumes and sets. And, of course, the story…”

Because Quidam is first and foremost a story — a true story, one known to all of us: the tale of human solitude in a world of anonymous faces, on the brink of the third millennium.

With his music Benoît Jutras roams the globe, leading us from dream to reality and reality to dream…

[Source: Cirque du Soleil Inc. 1996]

Today the website relies more on pictures than text to convey the concept behind Quidam. But one thing that remains consistent from its beginnings to today is this central idea:

Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past. It could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming, going, living in our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority. The one who cries out, sings and dreams within us all. This is the “quidam” that Cirque du Soleil is celebrating.

A young girl fumes; she has already seen everything there is to see, and her world has lost all meaning. Her anger shatters her little world, and she finds herself in the universe of Quidam. She is joined by a joyful companion as well as another character, more mysterious, who will attempt to seduce her with the marvelous, the unsettling, and the terrifying.

[Source: Cirque du Soleil 2010]



Quidam Fan Site 2.0

Welcome to the rebirth of Quidam Fan!

When I was in high school and early college, I maintained a website that I devoted to providing the public with as much information and news about Cirque du Soleil’s, Quidam.  It is a show that I was truly touched by when I was 13 and wanted to share with the world.  Of course because of college, my priorities shifted more towards my studies and the Quidam Fan Site began to gather thick layers of dust.

Fast forward to today.  A few weeks ago, I discovered that my website was disabled due to inactivity (understandably).  Even though I neglected it, it pained me to see all of that hard work quickly taken away.  I called Angelfire (they still even exist?!?) and they kindly unblocked the site and as of today it is still available to view.  But with these old free html servers like Geocities shutting down I thought maybe it is time I bring this website back in a new updated form.  What further pushed me to revive the site is that Quidam will be switching to an arena format at the end of this year.  With the show about to reach new audiences, could there be a better time?

In this blog, expect more than just updates on the show. I hope to provide you with the history of the show from conception and on, current projects by former Quidam performers, newly discovered footage, and interesting press articles and media from over the years, and a lot more.

I know that devoting a blog only to Quidam may be extremely specialized.  But as you will see, there is a lot to be covered from just one Cirque du Soleil show.  As much as I do love Cirque du Soleil, it is Quidam that I personally find the most noteworthy of all the shows. If you are looking for general and ticketing information about the company visit their website at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com or the unofficial forum at http://www.cirquetribune.com

To visit the former Quidam Fan Site: http://www.angelfire.com/amiga/quidam/