November 30, 2012

Alegria - a night full of fantasy

The show started off rather slow. I could tell the audience wasn't quite up to speed with applauding. We had yet to be transported into the fantasyland of the Cirque du Soleil. Through lighting, instruments, vocals and costumes the spectators were lifted away into the world of abstract immagination.

The circus' performers possess extraordinary talent. Their tremendous professionalism stands out when you see with what ease (seamingly) they whirl through the air, contort their bodies and fly from the trapeze.

Their timing is perfect, the rapidity extraordinary, their precision crucial. A crossover trampoline with up to ten artists whizzing through the air was dazzling. The fire-knive dancers were breathtaking. Acrobats were flipping through the sky on a bungy-like rope.

It is not the show alone that makes this circus so special. It is the fanasy and imagination the artists and the scenography conjurs in this performance. Extravagant costumes which cannot be pinned to a certain period nor a specific country are accompanied by masks with exagerated features, feathers, make-up and wigs. Paper confetti transports you back to childhood in an instant.

The backdrops are beautiful with lampions gliding through the air and ropes circling around our heads. Even while artists are performing with the spotlight shining on them you can still perceive subtle movements going on in the background. The entire stage is constantly dynamic.

My absolute favourite was the music. Music has always been a key part of the world famous circus troupe's various performances. However, I could not figure out what language the lady in a white hooped skirt was singing. It sounded Central Asian to my ear but I kept on recognizing words in French, Italian and Spanish...or so I thought?

Were I to describe Cirque du Soleil's "Alegria", I'd say The Magic Flute meets Dickens with a bit of Madame Butterfly. In any case, it is to remain an unforgettable night for my family.

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