By Philippe Canning
From the moment I purchased my tickets to the PY1 event, christened Through the Echoes, I voluntarily refrained from conducting any kind of research to find out what to expect. Other than perusing a newspaper review to find out if the latest iteration from Guy Laliberté’s (founder of the Cirque du Soleil) imagination was any good at all, I avoided any reports, written or spoken about the show’s content.
It was therefore with an open mind and without any expectation that I found myself on the Clock Tower Quai of the Old Port of Montreal with my 13 year old niece on what turned out to be our first beautiful sunny and warm day of spring 2019. We have no trouble finding the entrance which is dominated by two pyramid-shaped temporary structures covered in grey fabric. The first smaller pyramid acts as a vestibule or entrance for the second larger pyramid that is the theatre for the immersive experience we are about to witness. Arrive early and be prepared; there is no assigned seating and the show is designed to be observed while lying on the floor while your head is supported by a cushion. Get there too late and you will not be able secure one of the precious cushions. You will be forced to rest your head on the hard floor.
What comes next is unlike anything else you have ever experienced. There is no narrative, no time-line and no logical chain of event.s The spectacle can only be described as eclectic, organic, electric and even magnetic. A succession of projections on the four pyramid walls envelop the spectator. They are accompanied by complex and sophisticated effects from lasers and mobile light fixtures that intervene and react to a very powerful soundtrack. Visions of space and alien lands make way to strange earth bound creatures which are in turn succeeded by futuristic technologic devices. Agile dancers followed by extra-terrestrial beings populate the large screens. The music is perfectly adapted to every tableau and resonates from floor to ceiling, spewed from a very powerful sound delivery system. The presentation is punctuated by spoken quotes from famed Philosopher Alan Watts. His narrative is meant to build bridges between continents and cultures.
The animations are creative and precise. The synchronicity between sound, image, and light is flawless. The show’s Director, Gabriel Coutu Dumont, is a master of this new form of entertainment. The illusion is complete and the immersion is total. Lune Rouge Entertainment’s first travelling immersive show is bound for success. It is accessible to all ages and offers something for everyone. If one is too sensitive to loud noise, ear plugs are available.
Through the Echoes is on at the PY1 Pyramid (Old Port Montréal, Clock Tower Quai) from June 1st to September 19th, 2019. For information on tickets, click HERE.
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