[Review] Cirque-style show LE NOIR promises a night of dazzle and spectacle

Singapore is slowly gaining prominence as the host of blockbuster theater productions and original large-scale productions that are specifically designed for performance in the Lion City and LE NOIR is no different from its predecessors.

By Elaine Xu

A custom-produced show that debuted at Marina Bay Sands on 12th March 2013, LE NOIR is headed by a creative team comprising of Creative Producer Simon Painter and Executive Producer Tim Lawson, and features a range of acrobatic acts by twenty international performers.

The circus-style show heads to Singapore after finishing a sell-out show in Tokyo, Japan and a copious amount of work was needed to turn the the MasterCard Theaters - Sands Theater into an intimate performance venue.

The theater, which was home to the award-winning Broadway musical, the Lion King, has its seating capacity halved to a little over 1,100 seats and a custom-built circular stage allows for a 360-degree view of the performances.

Centered around three key color themes - white, red, and black - the cirque artistes, some of whom were formerly from the renowned Cirque du Soleil, gave absorbing performances. It is necessary to make special mention of Salvador Salangsang Jr., who plays the role of a clown to great effect and helped to ease the transition between the different acrobatic acts with his larger-than-life personality and risqué humor.

This is not my first time (and it will not be the last time) watching a circus performance and the production deserves all the credit it can get for the attention paid to the beautiful and intricate costume designs. They allow each performer to have a unique style while harmonizing the overall theme. Care was also taken in the planning of how the performers should enter and leave the stage, and the choreography on and off the circular stage does indeed draws the audience closer to the mystique of circus.

With 11 separate acts, you are bound to find a few, at least, that will capture your imagination and one of my favorite moments include the duo trapeze performance in the first segment of the show. The pair of identical twins had previously performed in different Cirque du Soleil shows like Saltimbanco and Chemin Invisibles and spent time training with Viktor Fomin, a renowned Russian who runs a successful studio in Montreal, Canada, and also trains the Cirque du Soleil artistes.

Another of my favorite acts is the the soulful pas de deux by Anne-Marie Godin and Diego Rodarte Amor. The duo tells a story of love through a presentation of acro dance, a style of dance that contains a mix of dance and acrobatic moves and the physically demanding adajo performance is executed with flair and effortless grace.

A second-generation circus performer, Gediminas Pavlovicius professes a love for auto mechanics and it shows in the design of the platform he uses for his Rolla Bolla performance. Accompanied by heavy blues beat, the audience gradually grows silent as he places seven hollow cylinders on top of each other and climbs atop the small board that is perched on top of the metal cylinders.

Roller-skater acrobats Leandro Zeferino Micaelo and Ursula Naike Nunez Rossi closed the two-hour show and showed off their forte on skates. It comes as no surprise that the couple, who recently got married to each other, are descended from the Dias and Rossi families respectively, each of whom had circus history that goes back for centuries.

Before the show started, I overheard two members of the audience questioning why the top tiers of the tickets were sold out. A word of advice: If you are going to watch the performance, you should sit as near to the stage as your wallet allows. Although you might sometimes get a slightly obstructed view (VIP ticket holders are sitting on the floor level), you will get to feel the intensity of the performances and to me, that is as important as watching the circus acts.

And if you happen to have coulrophobia, you will be relieved to know that Salvador Salangsang Jr. does not wear traditional clown make-up.


Show tickets are priced from S$35 and you can buy them through all SISTIC channels and via Marina Bay Sands' website. The show runs for three weeks and closes on 7th April 2013.



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