Monday, June 06, 2011

OVO by Cirque Du Soleil

Brother Goat, my BIL, works for the theater behind the scenes and for as long as I've known him he's loved Cirque Du Soleil.  He would go see them whenever it was possible.  But I have never been to a show before.  I went to the Shriner Circus a few times and possibly some carnival/fair type circus acts but nothing on the scale or breadth of Cirque.

So you can imagine that when I was given an opportunity to attend a show on my own I had to jump on it.  Despite this I wasn't sure how it would all translate, sometimes it seemed a little high brow and artsy for me, and I'm even sort of a high brow, artsy type!  But I was WRONG.

First of all, it was hilarious!  There was a loose plot structure that kept the acts moving.  There was a commitment to character, even when interacting with the audience.  And the "clown" bugs (because the show takes place with insects as characters) were full of great timing and comedy, even with mostly using few words and lots of bug "chatter"

two of the "clown" bugs

The second thing that amazed me were the acts themselves.  I've seen Cirque acts on Late Night shows occasionally and they are neat but to see them up close was a whole different thing.  Then you appreciate the physical feats they are accomplishing and the grace with which they are doing so.  It was enough to make me want to pack up Little Goat to Circus school in Thailand (but not quite, I do like him around after all!)

synchronized kiwi foot juggling by the ants

All in all, it was a wonderful date night for Mr. Goat and I, and if my toddler had an attention span of more than 30 seconds I know that he would have loved it.  Every detail was taken care of.  The sets were stunning, the costumes remarkable.  They even pumped in some sort of earth/flower scent (but not perfume!) to give you a sense of being among the dirt and the bugs.

these were some of Mr. Goat's favorites. 

The other cool thing I was able to participate in was a backstage tour that the Mall of America set up.  They invited us over for Toddler Tuesday with the Cirque folks and then brought some of us back to see the behind the scenes.

Their tents are amazing little cities.  People get apartments during their show run, but everything else is on site in their tents and trucks.  There is a school for those performers (the youngest performer is 16) and children of performers and workers.  There is a kitchen that provides over 300 meals daily.  There is a tent for them to warm up and rehearse each day.
so can YOU do that?

Each day the performers practice but they are also responsible for their own makeup each day.  The red spider for example has a 1.5 hr makeup routine before each show to prepare.  While we were there we got to witness one of the red spider's training her replacement (who will start in July) with the artistic directors help.  It was fascinating to watch the preparation and practice of them.  The performers rehearse for 2 years before a show goes on the road, the new red spider gets 3 months!

It was so neat to see behind the scenes and ask all sorts of questions about the tricks and running of the show, but after knowing the magic of having seen the show wasn't diminished.  If anything it was enhanced by knowing just how much goes into it.  Ovo by Cirque Du Soleil runs until June 19th in a tent across from the Mall of America.  If you can afford to go I certainly would.  Information about tickets can be found here

Disclaimer:  I was provided with a pair of tickets to Ovo and given the opportunity to go behind the scenes, but all opinions provided are my own.  It really was awesome!  Also, all the photos used come from the professional photos provided on the Mall of America Website here

1 comment:

sabrinaisonthemove said...

I saw the tents when we went to the mall last week! That is so cool! You know, I live about an hour away from where Cirque du Soleil preforms in Orlando, and I have never been.