By Melpomene Hua
Le Noir is an intimate cirque style entertainment that features former stars of Cirque du Soleil and some of the world’s top acrobatic performers. It opened on 7 June in MasterCard Theatres at Marina Bay Sands where the theatre was re-configured to install a small, disc-shaped stage in front of the main stage. Seats were added around the small stage as well as on the main stage. This is probably the most distinctive aspect of Le Noir – the intimate experience.
While Le Noir features former stars from Cirque du Soleil, it is different in a sense that the experience felt more theatrical than cirque and was intimate rather than grand. The aerial straps act seemed to graze the heads of the audience in the front rows, and muscles and veins were clearly visible during the impressive hand balance act – the closeness of the performers foregrounds how they push against the limits of the human body in their demanding and artistic performances.
An important aspect of Le Noir is its flawless execution. The entire performance was impeccably paced, starting on a high note with the energetic and fun “Blanc” segments before transiting flawlessly into the feisty and deliciously seductive “Rouge”, and finally taking a sharp turn into the dark and intense “Noir”. These three seemingly distinct segments with their own moods and colour schemes were made congruous by the sensuality that flows throughout the performance and the wonderfully personable comedian emcee.
The light design was also exceptional. Creative lighting combined with the spin of metallic pyramids and cubes during the shape spinner act produced what can truly qualify as a visual spectacle. The sound cues were hit with perfect precision and gave the show an extremely polished, well-rehearsed feel. The discipline of the performers on stage was particularly impressive. They were their character or their act down to every last detail and second for as long as they were on stage, giving it the same attention and energy when they are taking centre stage and just before they sauntered out of sight.
The highlight of Le Noir this year is the closing act “Wheel of Death” – one of the world’s most complex and dangerous circus stunts, performed without any safety lines or crash mats. This was the only “grand” act of the night and also the only act that was performed on the main stage. While the other acts were sensual and artistic, the Wheel of Death is novel and thrilling, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout its duration.
Le Noir is an extraordinary and unforgettable experience – a show you don’t want to miss!