‘Cirkopolis,’ a work co-commisssioned by Penn State, wins Drama Desk Award

“Cirkopolis,” a Cirque Éloize production co-commissioned by the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State, has won a 2014 Drama Desk Award for best Unique Theatrical Experience in New York City. The show made its Penn State debut in a September performance at Eisenhower Auditorium.

“Cirkopolis” unfolds in the heart of an imposing city in which giant gears and dark portals symbolize the crushing lack of individuality. Bathed in the music of an original score and surrounded by projected video, the performers rage against monotony, reinvent themselves and dare the limits of the factory city in which they’re bound.

The show, which began touring in September 2012, qualified for the award by being presented last December at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

“There aren’t more beautiful (shows than ‘Cirkopolis’),” wrote a New York Times critic. “Extraordinary. There’s the circus, and then there’s Cirque Éloize,” asserted a New York Post reviewer. “These guys are on a whole other level.”

In the coming months, “Cirkopolis” is scheduled to tour to Latin America, Australia, France and elsewhere.

Jeannot Painchaud co-founded Cirque Éloize in 1993. A native of Québec, he has worked in the circus arts for more than a quarter century. His Montreal company has performed four times at the Center for the Performing Arts.

Since its founding, Cirque Éloize has been at the heart of the renewal of circus arts with more than 4,000 performances in almost 450 cities around the world. Cirque Éloize expresses its innovative nature through theatricality and humanity, and combines circus arts with music, dance and theater in a path-breaking and original manner.

Drama Desk was founded in 1949 to explore key issues in the theater and to bring together critics and writers in an organization to support the ongoing development of theater in New York City. The organization, which began presenting its awards in 1955, is the only critics’ organization to honor achievement in the theater with competition among Broadway, off Broadway and off-off Broadway productions in the same categories.

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Last Updated June 05, 2014