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Cabaret Review (LA): Beyond by Aurelien Roulin at the El Portal Theatre

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Beyond is a tribute cabaret to the life and art of French aerialist, acrobat, and dancer Aurelien Roulin. The show represents the travels he has undertaken and his search for love using cirque and dance. The dance encompasses ballroom, lyrical, contemporary, musical, jazz, Bollywood, Asian fusion, circus elegant, French can-can, and cabaret. 

In its press materials this performance is described as an ”exciting, unique blend of amazing aerial work and an acrobatic medley of choreography and costumes with a touch of French style cabaret.” Individual parts of the evening are quite effective on their own but they do not a coherent whole make.

The hand-made costumes, with jewels by Olivier Pascal, Federic Couture, and Les Oiseaux du Paradis of Paris are, for the most part, quite beautiful using lots of feathers and Swarovsky crystals. The circus acts range from some aerial work to an amazing contortionist and a Cyr wheel artist. The music is original from Emmanuel Moiré of Paris, a well-known composer, singer, and songwriter. The show is appropriate for all ages, but it seems out of place at the El Portal Theatre. I think it would have fared better in one of the more intimate Las Vegas venues.

There is definitely talent on display here, but much of it has been seen elsewhere and could pass as a compilation of dances that Roulin may have choreographed for other shows and put together to pass as a full evening; it is interesting perhaps, but not a coherent show. Opening night was a benefit for the Southern California Lymphoma Research Foundation, with the guest of honor being Giles Marini, star of ABC television show Brothers and Sisters. Roulin is his friend so he agreed to an appearance onstage in a drag number. Beyond plays at the El Portal Theatre until August 1.


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