You’ll be hard pushed to find a circus gang with more technical gymnastic ability and joie de vivre than Flip Fabrique. Blizzard contains many of the circus art tropes that have come to be associated with the exuberant young French-Canadian collective. It features plenty of huge, complex group acrobatic numbers, impossible leaps of faith and more somersaults than seems humanly possible, against a sweet score played live on stage by the performers. The subject matter is also typically light in its theme, a playful tribute to Canada’s freezing winters.
It is refreshing to see work that is unapologetically entertaining. However, you cannot help but imagine what Flip Fabrique could be if it decided to think outside the box as well as jump off it. The gender roles are traditional, the dudes of the gang making incredible feats seem casual in their thermals and Nordic patterned jumpers while the women get the skimpier snowflake looks and pretty-pretty routines. A fabulous camp hula-hoop dance is played as comic when it could be genuinely sexy.
Flip Fabrique’s performers are known for the incredible things they can do with free running techniques and a massive trampoline. It doesn’t really matter what the theme is, they will find a way to shoehorn in jumping off a three-storey structure and bounding back up in a series of unbelievable flips and shapes. And it’s quite right that they should return to this motif as they do it better than anybody else.
They might be orthodox in style, but these are frolics that appear to defy the laws of physics.