Soon after we moved to Paris, I responded to a Craiglist ad from a 30-something French woman looking to do a French-English language exchange. We met in a bubble-tea restaurant in the 9th arrondissement, and bonded over cat-ownership, love of asian food, and being only children.
So P really digs the theatre – plays, music, dance, mostly contemporary stuff. She even went to some crazy play this spring that was 11 hours long that was last performed in 2003 . And lately she’s been telling me about this very original dressage show coming soon to the Tuileries. The thing is, it’s called Lever du Soleil which means “sunrise” and which also means you must be there at 5 am. Funnily enough she’s having problems finding company for that one.
However, she has also invited us to less-extreme but still very original events, such as the dancing Buddhist Shaolin monks we saw last Friday at the Theatre du Chaillot, in the Palais du Chaillot (for those of you who’ve been to Paris, you’ll know it as the massive art deco structure opposite the river from the Eiffel Tower.) Who woulda thunk Buddhist monks could be so adept at sabre-wielding and baton-brandishing? Perhaps this is how they purge themselves of any excess passion before comitting themselves to a lifetime of Zen….
The audience behaviour was also interesting. The show was a bit late to start, so some started to clap rhythmically as their way of saying “Get on with it, already!” No one applauded during the show, not even when little-boy-Buddhist executed a series of sommersaults and round-offs right across the stage. And at the end, while some people gave a standing ovation at the end, it was not the automatic audience-wide reaction as it has for every opera and dance I’ve seen in Vancouver. Instead, people stamped their feet and made a lot of catcalls, and the cast took about 5 bows while grinning crazily. It sounded like a stampede, not a Parisian theatre in the sedate 16th arrondissement.