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Cirque Eloize

One of the happy side effects of Cirque du Soleil’s phenomenal success is the number of smaller Soleil-like circuses that have cropped up in recent years. Some of these companies–like Cirque Ingenieux, which came through Chicago last month–play up the artier, more pretentious side of the Cirque du Soleil formula. But others–like the Quebec-based Cirque Eloize, just now arriving on the Chicago scene–manage to re-create the playful spirit of the larger Montreal-based company. Cirque Eloize is filled with lots of traditional circus tricks by human beings–jugglers, tumblers, aerialists, contortionists, and clowns–clothed in the flashy Euro-circus outfits made famous by Cirque du Soleil. And Cirque Eloize refuses to muck things up with a bunch of grandiose “Andrew Lloyd Webber on a bad day” stage effects that look great under the big top but kinda silly in a smaller space. Also like their better-known counterparts, the Cirque Eloize folks use no animal acts, a choice that not only gives them bonus points from animal-rights groups but more stage time for the sort of awe-inspiring tricks that have delighted viewers at least since the time of the Romans. College of DuPage Arts Center, main stage, 22nd and Park, Glen Ellyn, 630-942-4000. Thursday, March 26, 7:30 PM. $21. Then at Governors State University, Center for Performing Arts, Stuenkel and Governors Highway, University Park, 708-235-2222. March 28 and 29: Saturday, 8 PM; Sunday, 3 PM. $30. –Jack Helbig

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): uncredited photo.