Cirque du Soleil

There are probably not enough superlatives to fairly describe a Cirque du Soleil performance.

The expectation dial was set to eleven. This year the Christmas period would be rounded off with a trip to see a Cirque du Soleil performance. The use of the word ‘legend’ seems to be applied far to frequently these days and it has to be said that cirque shows have attracted a status that nestles neatly in the area of ‘legendary’. Could Amaluna reach those lofty heights?

Cirque du Soleil is one of those institutions that feels like it’s been around for quite some time but I was still surprised to learn that the roots of the company date back to 1984. I was also unaware that Quebec is home to the Cirque empire. As Canadian as the origins are, the performers are drawn from across the globe; and who wouldn’t want to be part of such a very unique experience.

Cirque du Soleil, the big topWhen Cirque du Soleil comes to town the area next to Rodgers Arena (the place where hockey used to be played) is home. That makes it an easy place to reach by car or transit. Parking, well, expect to pay premium prices if you decide to use the site facilities. I found undercover, safe parking a five minute walk away for a quarter of the price. Time to chat with the family about the evening to and from the show and get some fresh air.

Being a corporate treehugger I wasn’t pleased about having to print my tickets so would rather like Cirque scan the jpg on my smartphone in the future. I did however manage to confuse people with my double sided printing, so I’ll call that an honourable draw this time. A quick scan and I was in. The outer tent housing the concessions was, with the exception of picking up a programme, bypassed. I wanted to be entertained and didn’t need beer/pop/snacks to prepare me for the event.

In to the big top and wow, the seats were in a great position. Seven rows back, and an unobstructed view of the ring. Fantastic. A quick and humorous ‘no photo’s’, and ‘here are the ways out in case of a problem’ from Deeda the clown and we were off.

Cirque du Soleil, expectant audienceThis Cirque du Soleil production, Amaluna is based loosely on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest‘, with a female spin. So, goddesses, lunar cycles, rebirth, and love put to the test are the prominent themes running through the show. However, was a storyline actually needed. Would I enjoy the show any less without a plot. I’m genuinely not sure the absence of a story would have had a detrimental impact for me. The performers feats are truly stunning, in fact, there are probably not enough superlatives to fairly describe a Cirque performance. To be honest, I lost track of time as I became totally mesmerized by feats of skill, athleticism, daring and of course, comedic interludes. From the moment the show started to the grand finale I smiled, I laughed, my jaw dropped, I sat back in awe at what this troupe were capable of. The poise, the strength, the suppleness the spatial awareness, the hand-eye co-ordination of these performers was simply staggering.

Over the course of the show the audience were treated to tumbling, trapeze style rings, teeterboard, asymmetric bars, juggling tightrope, dance and more. There are great bonds formed between artists and audience, helping the mere mortals really feel part of the event. Audience participation is a must, and how the audience reacted.

So, Cirque du Soleil, legendary? Oh yes, I think the term is entirely appropriate. I can’t wait for the next production. I’m hooked.

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