Saturday, April 19, 2014

Idle Rogue Productions: Le Cirque de Nuit

What a wondrous journey Le Cirque de Nuit has been! In small but complex steps, this notion made it's way to me, from my first rudimentary attempt to combine circus and neo-burlesque, to the strangely rare gift of a book voucher serendipitously arriving at the same time as a new and clever friend, who recommended The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern. The book was a cute and quick read, but the striking imagery of a monochromatic Victorian Circus stayed with me throughout the remainder of The Very Bad Year that was 2013.

Many things failed in 2013, and others were fatally wounded. Projects that should have been meteoric failed to launch, people who should have felt beloved did not, the fog of many unhappinesses clung to me wherever I rode, but as the year ended I dreamed of a black and white steampunk circus, and when I woke, the idea stayed luminous; by December the dream was a plan, and it strengthened and consolidated throughout the first months of 2014.

Le Cirque de Nuit demanded all the time it needed. We thought we'd be performing it in January, February at the latest, but it was April before everything was in place. In that time, Gloriana Maertens built an enchanting environment that was an inspiration to everyone who saw it; Arrehn Oberlander joined the project with a formidable skillset and enough will to see this project through to a higher level. The two of them gave me toys that weren't even whispers in my dreams, and they polished and refined them as we watched the various other elements fall together around this charmed endeavour.

We called for auditions, and warned hopeful candidates that we intended to edit their work to get it to a higher standard than anyone had seen before. And one by one the candidates brought us intricate, beautifully realised acts that required nothing from us but our delight. Stars from all over the grid came willingly to work with us, hard-working, gifted performers who agreed time and again to rehearse with us, to meet with Arrehn, to learn new tools and new ways of performing. Not once was there a tantrum or a rift: everyone who joined this project brought with them goodwill and diligence, and sustained it even when they weren't quite sure of the vision. I am so grateful to you all for staying with me, for trusting in the concept and in our ability to make it real.

Two days before the April 6th premiere, we held a "teaser" preview for SL media, and as they reacted, we knew it was really, truly the spellbinding achievement we suspected it could be. Opening night audiences were rapturous, with the sim filling at both performances within minutes and people left outside the sime clamouring for a chance to see it.

Tonight we perform it again, two more times, in hopes of satiating some of the demand. Is it my magnum opus? Is it that one lucky time when everything fell into place? Is it the beginning of a SLifetime of producing totally immersive, high-quality original entertainment? Is it enough, just one time, to wash the taste of ash from my mouth?

Le Cirque de Nuit is a dance entertainment production set in a black-and-white steampunk circus, and will be performed to audiences on the Idle Rogue sim in Second Life at 7pm and 10pm on Saturday, April 19th. It features original performances by 13 professional dancers from around Second Life, as well as art installation interludes in a 90-minute production.Seats are limited to ensure a high-quality production, so the sim will be reset an hour before each performance. Audiences are advised to arrive early, seat their avatar and remove all unnecessary scripts and devices to assist the performance.
An Idle Rogue Production.

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