I got to go see the Alexander Calder exhibit the other day at the Seattle Art Museum.
Besides seeing his beautiful mobiles from small to large in person, I was most delighted to see a video of the Le Cirque puppet performance during his years in Paris using all the little handmade figures and props made with mostly found materials. I was totally entertained to see how he manipulates each charming figures and re-creates a circus performance that's more than impressive and entertaining than seeing the real thing!The perfectly orchestrated circus is made up of numerous elements of kinetically activated wire figures and animals, live sound effects, mini-stage props, and Calder himself performing in front of a live audience. There's a great mix of really impressive well-engineered performances of Calder using wire figures doing trapeze to some occasional humorous act of when Calder throws couple of peanuts on the floor by the circus lion as a signal that it pooped. Who would have thought that lion pooping can be so delightful?! But Calder pulled it off.
This is a 2 part video of his Le Cirque performance below... ( it's much better to see it at the museum on a big projection) But you can get a rough idea of Calder's sense of playfulness and how much pride he takes while doing the whole performance...just don't get creeped out by the way he laughs and talks....but hey, when you're Calder, you can get away with that and it's a-ok.