Word of mouth worked well. Normal, since the time that “Snowshow” of Slava Polounine travels the world. Until January 5, the Théâtre du Léman will not be crowded with people attracted by what they have heard about this extraordinary performance. Others are asking for more. They’ve seen it in Geneva or elsewhere in recent years, but there are variations on the script. The performers change without being able to verify it, because they are all made up.
Soon septuagenarian, Slava Polounine long ago created a race apart from yellow and green clowns. Coming from the cold Russian, these people with the red nose never left their decor of snow. He has been transporting it everywhere since 1995, in the form of gigantic hanging walls, blue on the quilted side, white on the quilted side. It’s the first of two landscapes that we discover first: a cold and mysterious night, crossed by the distant sound of a steam train of yesteryear. To the sound of a slow little xylophone walk, the Slava of the day crosses from garden to courtyard. In his yellow bra, the poor wretch seems very unhappy. Hey, a sad clown? Known species. Yes, but rarely desperate. Yet this walker seems to want to end it forever.
Photo: Véronique Vial
Uneasiness in the room come to have fun! And hop, a change of course avoids the worst. An idea of staging, a gag that we will not reveal here opens the scene to life, to surprises, to laughter. Green clowns are a big part of it, thanks to their priceless look.
Different sizes, but all wearing the same hat with flaps never folded, as disproportionate as their endless black feet, these escogriffs are ten. They evolve in a seemingly artisanal universe. It is one of the main characteristics of the “Snowshow”, despite its ambition and its international career, to adopt a DIY, worn, crumpled, discarded, frayed livery. Nothing flashy, nothing satin, no rhinestones, but fabrics, cotton, knitting, twine, paper, whose evocative power is no less powerful than the brightest attires. This natural and simple bias works perfectly with the poetry of the sketches of the little world of Slava.
Photo: Véronique Vial
And the silence of the clowns, what a treat! First, there is no need for translation since everything is understood by the gesture, the look, the expression, the situation. In the great tradition of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Dimitri … All the art of the clown is there, perceptible in the smallest details. However, the “Snowshow” does not skimp on gigantism. It is on a large scale that he propels soap bubbles on stage, that he weaves a spider web above the armchairs or that he blows the blizzard in the room. As a result, the public is physically involved in a large-scale collective release session. Extremely rare and wonderful experience. Long live the Slava clowns!
Created: 12/29/2019, 8:10 p.m.