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Catch’Em If You Can

FlipFabriQueJadeDussault.pngJade Dussault shows-off aerial skills at New Victory Theater in New York City

Company Flip FabriQue Presents “Attrape”

By – Tricia Callahan

What: Flip FabriQue “Attrape Moi”

Where: Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College St., Irmo

When: Saturday, Oct. 28, 3:30 p.m.

Price: $22

More: 803-407-5011,harbisontheatre.org

Parkour meets Cirque du Soleil with the French-Canadian troupe Flip FabriQue, which bringing its show “Catch Me! (Attrape Moi)” to Harbison Theatre this. With a title that emphases everyone’s inner child, the show imparts looks to embody  this youthful spirit with impossible stunts that are executed with a playful ease.

The company members — Jérémie Arsenault, Bruno Gagnon, Christophe Hamel, Françis Julien, Hugo Ouellet Côté and Jade Dussault — all met while studying at École de Cirque de Québec, a professional circus school located in Montreal. Gagnon rallied the group in 2011 after performing with Cirque du Soleil for five years, which accounts for 1534 shows witnessed by more than two million spectators. He was exhausted.

“After working so hard with other companies, you give everything you can give,” he says. “There are barriers — there are fences because you can’t do this or that. At some point you just want to fly with your own wings. So we called each other up and said, ‘Let’s leave our jobs.’ We had great careers on our own, but we said, ‘How about we quit and start something together.’ And it happened. There’s a bit of scariness, but I knew it would work.”

Indeed, like Gagnon, the other members of Flip Fabrique have performed with big-league companies including Cirque du Soleil and Cirque Eloize, but have traded lives dealing with those more ornate performances for a casual approach, wearing T-shirts and bandanas. Attendees can expect a popsicle-eating contest and an act performed entirely in sleeping bags — which sounds silly until you stop to consider that these highly difficult stunts are being executed by performers with bags covering their heads.

“Catch Me!” is actually the first show from the company, and it seems to be taking off. They’ve performed more than 200 times in 2017. They’ve made their way through  Brazil, the Netherlands and Germany, including a six-month run at the Chamäleon Theater in Berlin. There’s also been a four-week run at the New Victory Theater in New York and tours through Canada and the United states. The plot of the show concerns their journey out of their previous lives and eventually coming back together.

“It’s the story of friends who leave and don’t see each other for a while, and then come back,” Gagnon explains. “During a weekend they do acrobatics and believe they are still friends after all those years. So on top of basically catching each other all the time, there’s also this point of being on tour and coming back — the idea of ‘Catch you later’ — and this thought of trying to see each other even though we’re away. So it’s about catching each other in time and, of course, literally catching people.”

The fusion of parkour and the circus comes to light with the tramp-o-wall which stands adjacent to a wall where athleticism, flips, and gymnastics are on full display. Flip FabriQue take their stunts, flips, and tricks to a brand new place without the pomp and circumstance of companies they have worked with in the past.

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