Clowns and poetry at Slava’s Snowshow 2023 – Paris
In 2017, the zapping capacity of a lambda internet user reaches new heights. If a video doesn’t catch the interest in less than 7 seconds, the internet user moves on to something else. This seems to be particularly true for humor.
Everything must happen at 200 km/h ! Jokes, prank, hidden cameras, mini-sketches, humiliation, situational comedy, mockery… Everything must be consumed quickly, greedily, without often finesse, and with the objective to see as much as possible in a minimum of time.
And when it comes to talking about “clown” in particular, the news of 2017 brings to the forefront Stephen King's horror-fantasy through the feature film “Ça”.
Against the current, Slava’s Snowshow 2017 offers a clown show whose main characteristic is to take its time !
Clown & poetry
Forget what you know about clowns. Slava’s Snowshow is a show that redistributes the cards and breaks the clichés of the traditional circus clown. You won’t see a clown breaking a chair over someone else’s head, or spilling a bottle of water down his neighbour’s pants.
These “clichés” are cleverly and subtly reused to turn them against the audience and propose something new. I don’t want to give anything away about the show, so you won’t know what’s going to happen to you by reading this 🙂
What I can say without any problem and without altering your future experience is that this show is visually beautiful and very poetic. There is a huge work on the sets so that what appears as simple “boards” are magnified by the play of lights or ingenious wire installations.
The costumes in themselves are worked to support many situations as unexpected as the others. The show is 90% based on the mime performance of the clown troupe. Whether it is the yellow clowns or the green clowns – who themselves seem to have come straight out of Alice in Wonderland – all play with the delicate and sensitive string that is “time”.
Often slow, even mimed in slow motion, the different scenes pass by and impose themselves on the spectators who sometimes seem to be daydreaming. When the lights come up on a poetic stage introduction, followed by a mime game, which often ends unexpectedly, the room is suspended out of time. In a kind of dreamlike bubble created by Slava.
The beginning of the show suggests that a plot might exist, but it does not seem that the purpose of the show is to build a story. It is indeed a succession of scenes full of poetry, of sketches more or less long, whose goal is to awaken an emotion in the public.
And then ! Is it funny ? Do comic clowns manage to trigger laughter ? The answer is yes ! Even if your humble editor didn’t laugh out loud, he couldn’t help but flash his widest smile, often also amazed by the visual quality of the show. Moreover, the show knows how to adapt to all audiences, from 8 years to more ! It is also quite amusing (or depressing…) to hear all the children laughing out of sync, at least, not with regard to the same situations . It seems that as we age, some of our humor disappears…
Finally, Slava’s Snowshow troupe finds nice scenic ways to make the show participatory. The audience is solicited in a rather unconventional way to end on a very beautiful moment of sharing around balloons… but I do not say more .
Where to see Slava's Snowshow ?
The troupe led by Slava Polunin performs from December 13, 2017 to January 7, 2018 at Théâtre du 13eme Art, Paris