Influenced by Archaos, Cirque du Soliel is the most recognizable global Circus brand, a Disneyesque juggernaut that, like MacDonalds, weaves its lavish commercial magic across the seven continents. Cirque’s creator Guy Laliberte is one of the richest entertainment figures in the world. Pierrot would never be his commercial equal, but for those that met Pierrot or saw his shows, that peculiar magic that allowed Cirque to come into being will remain tattooed on their heart.
2010 will see celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the great American showman P T Barnum. It is fittingly perverse that Pierrot should pass away in the same year. Pierrot was a folkloric hero, genetically connected to the American’s DNA. As an entrepreneur and impresario Barnum was more akin to Simon Cowell – Pierrot was closer to William Castle, the outlandish American B movie schlock film/producer/ director.
Pierrot was developing a new show, Place de Anges, which promised so much. Rather prophetically, it was a tale of a group of renegade angels granted a day release from heavenly bliss. This Wenderesque show was to be an excuse for wild, breathtaking acrobatics high above an audience mesmerized by their antics. As the show progressed and the stopwatch ticked, the celestial Cinderellas were to reconnect with mortal sin. Reacclimatized to earth’s physical distractions, their wings would start to molt, shedding feathers. As the show progressed the audience would have been engulfed in feathers.
As Pierrot talked me through the show, I chuckled at the thought of tracking down the requisite ton of clean goose and chicken feathers. I considered the Heath & Safety chaos, the avian flu hysteria. What a package! What a narrative! My publicist’s antennae were waving furiously.
I pray that his last show can and will be staged – we all need one last chance to remember the extraordinary genius of Pierric Pillot, aka Pierrot Bidon.