Snow Job: 3Qs with FLIP Fabrique’s Strap-man
Canadian cirque troupe FLIP Fabrique’s brand new show, Blizzard, takes the stage by, ahem, storm, as the small but exciting troupe of circus performers invites the audience to lose yourself in wonder in the middle of a winter storm amid artists who juggle, tumble, flip and spring around the snowflakes surrounded by the poetic beauty of ice and snow. We caught up with strap specialist and acrobat Hugo Ouellet-Côté to get a sneak peek ahead of the winter watch arriving at the Granada Theatre on Sunday, February 9.
Q. Most of you were in other companies. What was the reason to get together?
A. We were friends and wanted to do a show all together. We didn’t think it would turn into anything. The idea was just to have fun on stage… and that’s still what we’re doing.
There are so many contemporary circus companies from Quebec nowadays. What gives FLIP a fresh take? What’s different about you?
All of the artists are versed in multiple disciplines and we’re all part of every act on the show. There are only eight of us, and we’re all on stage for the 75 minutes. Everyone does everything. So we have to be very good at the circus arts. And we are always trying to express how much fun we are having on stage to the audience. We want the joy of how we are playing with each other to be transmitted to everyone so that they feel it, too.
Blizzard opened last year. What is it about winter and snow works for a cirque-style show?
First, it shows how our winter is in Canada, what it does to you and to your mind. There are a lot of things that are funny or not funny about living through the six months of winter that we have. But it’s also metaphoric: explorers getting lost in the blizzard, losing the horizon and sense of direction, having no conception of where they are – how that impacts you. Maybe even having hallucinations. There’s a part where it’s very poetic. Do you get scared or embrace it as a way to start anew? That gives us a chance to experiment with our very high-level acrobatic acts, like using the trampoline wall and the ground – we take out the platforms we jump on one by one to make it more challenging – and a lot of group stuff where we throw people in the air and catch them. You can actually crash.