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Starts With A Bang

Weekend Diversion: The Greatest Cabaret in the World

Seven of the greatest and most entertaining achievements of human ingenuity.

“I love that moment just before the curtain goes up…It’s a thrill that’s unequaled anywhere.” -Joel Grey

It’s a fantastic feeling, performing for others, as well as having people who’ve spent their lives perfecting their art perform for you. I’ve just learned about a show in France — Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde (The Greatest Cabaret in the World) — that’s devoted to providing a platform for the world’s greatest performers in all genres. Although, as Beirut would sing, I couldn’t tell you what happens after the curtain falls,

I am very pleased to share with you my seven favorite performances I’ve come across from Le Plus Grand Cabaret Du Monde.

7.) Vis Versa, the contortionist duo. I’m a huge fan of artistic achievements that push the limits of what the human body can do, and I’m just awed by these slow, controlled movements that combine strength and balance in a beautiful way. Partner acrobatics almost always has a heavier person act as a base for the lighter person to balance upon, but the flipped script here left me in awe.

6.) Dressage Chiens, trained dogs by Wolfgang Lauenburger. The Cabaret isn’t restricted to solely human achievements, as animals as large as elephants have made appearances in skits on this show. But the level of coordination and synchronization that these dogs achieve has impressed me tremendously, as well as the choreographed “mistakes,” which are some of the hardest things to get a dog to do.

5.) Duo Minasov, costume transformers. By far the most common genre featured on this show is magic, which I often find the least impressive. But this illusion I found spellbinding: how quickly, frequently and thoroughly this duo was able to change their clothes and appearances. Although this isn’t nearly as physically or mentally demanding as some of the others, the visual spectacle achieved was fantastic, and I didn’t think any list would be complete without it.

4.) Angorian Cats, amazing cat training. Okay, so it’s not objectively as impressive as what some other animals do, but they’re cats! Have you ever tried to get a cat to do what you wanted? Admittedly, the cats continuously look like they’re going to claw the trainer’s face off, but wind up performing each and every trick exactly as planned. I can only imagine the training and patience that went into crafting this performance!

3.) Three’s a Charm, an acrobatic trio. Partner acrobatics are normally performed by duos, but this trio threw me for a remarkable twist. Make sure you especially watch for the move that starts around the 3:30 mark, which I’ve never seen anything like; the combined strength and flexibility involved literally had me gasp when it happened.

2.) Guang Dong, Pas de Deux, ballet. This is ballet as you’ve never seen — and probably never conceived of — before. I can only imagine how difficult it is to balance the way the female dancer does, and I can only imagine the pressure and pain that comes with supporting another human being en pointe on your shoulders and head. Simply an amazing act all around, and again the body control is what I find most impressive.

But the single most amazing display of body control comes courtesy of our final entry on this list…

1.) Leosvel and Diosmani, duo au mat (two at the mast). I thought I had seen something truly amazing and unique when I came across Dominic Lacasse — the Flag man — a few years ago. Well, this duo really pushes the boundaries of what I thought was possible, especially at the end where one stands on the other while he’s outstretched horizontally! I’ve never seen anything like this before, and it left me totally in awe!

I hope you enjoyed the highlights from this amazing discovery, and I’m so glad I came across this showcase of incredible talent. Hope you enjoyed it, too!

Have a comment, or a favorite performance you’d like to share? Weigh in at the Starts With A Bang forum on Scienceblogs!


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