BEN BRANTLEY ON BOUCHERON DESIR
LIAISONS DANGEREUSES AND BODIES ACROBATIC
Published August 19, 2008
By Ben Brantley
The freshest pretzels in New York can now be found at the South Street Seaport. They are firm, flavorful, salty, twisted into dizzying shapes and meant to be devoured, for sure, but only with the eyes. These pretzels are made of human flesh and more apt to stimulate appetites than to sate them.
If the televised Olympics are too sanitary and the hole-in-the-wall strip clubs too sleazy for your tastes, then perhaps you’ll find voyeuristic contentment in the between ground (or should I say air?) occupied by “Désir,” the literally high-flying exercise in body bending that’s playing in a mirrored tent on the southern tip of Manhattan.
The latest offering from Spiegelworld, the circus-cum-cabaret that first set up its version of summer camp here two years ago, “Désir” is not to be confused with the better-known “Absinthe,” with which it runs in repertory through Nov. 2. “Absinthe” is adults-only vaudeville, an amalgam of songs, jokes and acrobatic routines. While retaining the Spiegelworld signature impurity of thought, “Désir” aspires to a greater purity of style. It is 80 minutes of wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling gymnastics, executed by a young, comely and exceedingly supple cast of more than a dozen, which wordlessly acts out “La Ronde”-style series of liaisons.
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