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 But there is something outdated they have scrapped   Because the show premiered four years before the new millenium, there is a lot more emphasis of the show anticipating the 21st century.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]

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