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On Center: Flip FabriQue

by on July 30, 2017 4:30 AM

Montreal, the fertile crescent of contemporary circus, has done it again. Flip FabriQue, the newest gravity-defying sensation from Quebec, will make its Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State premiere this fall in Catch Me!, a celebration of fun and friendship.

“The young members of Flip FabriQue claim to be French Canadian,” writes a New York Times critic, “but after watching them perform, you may suspect that they hail from a different planet. … This troupe offers acts that don’t seem humanly possible, like walking up a building face. … In a signature act, ‘Trampowall,’ members of the group place a trampoline in front of it, bounce forcefully on their backs to a great height and then, with the help of momentum and what must be terrific shoes, walk the remaining few steps up its surface to cavort on a rooflike shelf.”

Catch Me!, on stage October 11 at Eisenhower Auditorium, finds friends coming together after a decade to spend a weekend at a country cottage.

“For Flip FabriQue, the stage is a playground where high-level acrobatics and parkour are the natural vocabulary,” writes a reviewer for Scotland’s ThreeWeeksEdinburgh.com. “In a nonchalant way, with their casual clothes and childlike energy, these six performers show off incredible trick after incredible trick … . But it’s not just acrobatics; it’s their inventiveness and charisma. The show … opens the door to some sweet nostalgia, playfulness, and jokes that weave the acts together … .”

Flip FabriQue’s performers, a woman and five men, met while students at the Quebec Circus School. Catch Me! grew out of their reunion years later. Each of the artists — Jérémie Arsenault, Jade Dussault, Bruno Gagnon, Christophe Hamel, Francis Julien, and Hugo Ouellet-Coté — is a veteran of Cirque du Soleil productions. Three also have been members of Center for the Performing Arts favorite Cirque Éloize.

“The show is a dizzying mix of traditional circus skills — juggling, acrobatics, diablos and hula-hooping, rope-work and trampolining,” notes a One4Review.com writer. “… Comic sequences were fun, notably the scene where the performers were inside their sleeping bags … . The cast genuinely looked to be having an absolute ball, and the mood was infectious.”

The company, founded in 2011, has a mission to produce circus shows that draw from the performers’ personal experiences and promote each member’s potential. In addition to performing in its native Canada, the ensemble has toured to the United States, Brazil, Mexico, and several European countries.

“This is absolute world class circus craft. There is so much joie de vivre on stage you’ll walk out buzzing. An utterly phenomenal show,” raves a critic for EdinburghGuide.com.

“Flip FabriQue,” adds the New York Times reviewer, “projects an irrepressible spirit of fun and, yes, it’s catching.”

For information or tickets, visit cpa.psu.edu or phone (814) 863-0255. 



John Mark Rafacz is the editorial manager of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State.
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