Wednesday, October 18, 2006

i recall staring at a lean mean lion, growling with every whiplash. and shuddering with the thought that the steel grid that separated me from lion would give way to those tremendous paws like butter to knife. i was five. maybe six. and yet my mind was overloaded with the burden of a scientist’s son. quick calculations and careful observations made it plain that hollow steel beams had no chance against a wronged beast.

but most of all i will never forget the smell of gemini circus. of sweat. dung. ticks. fire. food. feet. in that olfactory assault, one thing shone through with an intensity that punctuated my then nubile existence. the smell of an animal pacing its cage.

tania malaquin, jeremine mallard, sebastien peyre, gwenaelle roue and amaury roussel are quite a mouthful. tania malaquin, jeremine mallard, sebastien peyre, gwenaelle roue and amaury roussel otherwise also form meli melo, a french circus sort of troupe that swung in and out of town last week.

their experiment in theatre, a quoi tu penches shook me with its simplicity. i hate to say it didn’t have dialogue. because that would bracket it in theatre noir, or whatever it is that they call the pseudo wet dreams of playwrights these days. it didn’t have dialogue not to impress with technique, but simply because it wanted to reach out to the myriad nurses, sisters, mothers and other such malu chechis who had assembled en masse that saturday night.

while the kids roared in the aisles, sister philomina giggled. while the kids squirmed in their seats at the slightest hint of carnal love on stage, sister philomina giggled. while the curtains came down on one super grand visual feast, sister philomina giggled. and i strongly suspect sister philomina giggled well into the night and into sunday as well. and between hail marys, sister philomina giggled.

meli melo was for me gemini circus revisited. the smells were all there. including the sense of an animal pacing its cage. even though the nearest animal was a mackerel on a plate at kubay, the restaurant around the corner.

but strangely enough all the uneasiness had gone. in its place was a calm. like a sea without wind. a loss of time. even as i perched myself on the edge of a balcony that was clearly filled beyond capacity, it never once occurred to me that concrete and steel too could give way as sister philomina and a thousand namesakes clapped their thighs and laughed laughs that certainly never echoed through the hallowed walls of their convents. gone was my scientist’s son burden. replaced by a newborn awe. serendipity – my favourite word forever.

meli melo entertained, moved, shocked, stunned – ok i’m using different words that mean the same thing. they were awesome. deserved to be seen. take a bow fellas. and thank you.