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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 16, 2004

Cirque Eloize Combines The Human And The Super-Human in “Nomade”

Quebec’s Cirque Eloize combines the sweetly human and the astonishingly super-human in its new theatrical production, “Nomade,” Feb. 6-8 in the University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium. Performances will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 7; and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8.

Humans are the only animals in this circus, and “Nomade” glimpses an endearing community of wanderers as they indulge in the rituals familiar to humans everywhere -- they joke and bicker and fall in love and marry. But these are circus vagabonds, so their communal evening is a carnival saturated with gypsy minstrel music, dance, clowning, juggling and amazing acrobatic feats.

A review in the San Francisco Chronicle observed, “Every circus, large and small, is a village. That’s what children long for when they want to run away and join one, a communion of souls bound to a life of fantasy, heartbreak and joy. And that’s the spark that lights ‘Nomade’…”

American audiences have come to associate the word “cirque” with another Canadian company, Cirque du Soleil, the high-tech juggernaut of circus fantasy with permanent franchises in Las Vegas and Disney World.

But while Cirque Eloize comes from the same location, and celebrates many of the same traditional circus skills, it is more down-to-earth, focusing more on character and physical achievements than on costumes and high-tech theatrics -- what a Los Angeles Times review described as “intimate, low-tech charm… very much about humans -- very peculiar humans, but humans all the same ... By the end you feel you know them all. People like you -- just a little more flexible.”

A review in London’s Evening Standard noted that the members of Cirque Eloize “are ace acrobats, but they also have a small-scale, unplugged feel, a rough-and-ready rascally good humour that is fresh and innocent and utterly beguiling.”

Cirque Éloize has existed for only a decade, but it quickly became in-demand throughout the world. The company has staged more than 1,500 performances in more than 200 cities and 20 countries worldwide, entertaining audiences now totaling more than two and a half million. This fall, the company was honored with Canada’s prestigious Gemini Award for Best Performance.

The Cirque Eloize performances are supported by Drs. Lisa and Amir Arbisser, Eye Surgeons Associates Inc.; and Hills Bank and Trust Company through the University of Iowa Foundation. Media support comes from the Iowa City Press-Citizen.

Tickets for “Nomade” are $32/30/25; UI student $25.60/12; senior citizen $25.60/24/20; youth $16/15/12.50.

Hancher Auditorium box office business hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. From the local calling area, dial 319-335-1160. Long distance is toll-free, 1-800-HANCHER. Fax to 319-353-2284. People with special needs for access, seating and auxiliary services should dial 319-335-1158, which is equipped with TDD for people with hearing impairment who use that technology.

Tickets may be ordered on-line 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Hancher’s website:

Orders may be charged to VISA, MasterCard or American Express. UI students may charge their purchases to their university bills, and UI faculty and staff may select the option of payroll deduction. Information and brochures may be requested by e-mail:

For UI arts information and calendar updates, visit To receive UI arts news by e-mail,

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Winston Barclay, 319-384-0073,

PHOTOS are available at