Move over Barnum & Bailey, there’s a new circus in town: eclectic French duo Polo & Pan brought their touring troupe to Brooklyn for a pair of shows and didn’t disappoint Thursday night. TO Avant-Garder‘s Big room, Paul Armand Delille (aka Polocorp, or Polo) and Alexander Grynszpan (Peter Pan, or Pan) brought their Cyclorama touring the United States for their first North American live show since before the pandemic.
Paul and Alex met in Paris in 2012 while DJing separately at The Baron. They quickly joined forces to create Polo & Pan and released their first EP, Rivolta, in 2013, followed by Dorothy in 2014. They released their first full album, Caravel, in 2017. Building on their influence from the EDM scene, they began to mix modern and ancient sounds to form a new kind of world music.
World music is a phrase used to describe âmusic from non-Western countries,â traditional or indigenous rhythms and melodies created with the same traditional and indigenous instruments that have been used throughout history. Polo & Pan are masters in the art of using their bases in electronic music to build a new future for these global sounds of the past.
After touring America in 2018, Polo & Pan returned to Europe and started working on Cyclorama, their new album, released earlier this year. The single “Ani Kuni” became the group’s biggest hit to date, achieving considerable success in the French charts. The track is based on a favorite of Pan’s son, a Native American hymn from the Arapaho tribe, and perfectly sums up the duo’s ability to take the traditional and turn it into a unique powerhouse of reverence and excitement.
Related: L4LM Monthly Mix – November 2021 – Playlist & Liner Notes Ft. Polo & Pan, Plus [Listen]
A “Cyclorama”, for those who do not know – I did not know it before researching it out of curiosity – is defined as “a fabric stretched in an arc around the background of a decoration, often used to represent the sky . “There is no more perfect way to describe the Polo & Pan performance at Avant Gardner. Helped by show-stealer Victoria Lafaurie, who sings Cyclorama and touring with the duo, the staging took the entire crowd on a journey through space and time.
Lafaurie dazzled the room with numerous outfit changes and a flawless vocal performance, giving such a powerful rendition of fan favorite “Dorothy” that I heard the man behind me literally scream with pleasure. It would be hard to choose the time of night, but while waiting for the encore, with the lights still off, I heard the same squeak correctly predicting the last two songs of the night, “Magic” and “Nana”. The latter of these two is perhaps the most fitting example of Polo & Pan’s talent for taking the traditional and turning it into something new but familiar – and it’s impossible not to dance with it.
Lafaurie was not finished and appeared in a sequined dress to close the evening. With all of the house’s spotlight on her, transforming her into a human disco ball, Victoria wowed the crowd with “Peter Pan”, one of the duo’s first songs, and a tribute to their namesake.
If you couldn’t do it last night, make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. For a full list of upcoming Polo & Pan US tour dates, go here.
Below, check out a photo gallery from the first of two nights of Polo & Pan at the Avant Gardner in Brooklyn, courtesy of the photographer Chris Capaci.
Polo & Pan | Avant-Gardner | Brooklyn, New York State | 12/02/21 | Photos: Chris Capaci