Wednesday, May 23, 2007

I never did like the circus but...

I went to the circus last night.

The Cirque du Soleil's new show, Kooza, opened here in Montreal at the beginning of May. My sister took me to last night's show as a belated birthday gift. I went without expectations, since this was my first time seeing them live - yes, I admit to being a born and bred Montrealer who has NEVER see the Cirque LIVE even though all their shows are premiered here.

I loved it. All the acts were wonderful, although my two favourites were the contortionists, three rubbery girls who are as strong as they are bendable. Here they are in one of their more reserved poses: (photo: Jacques Grenier)

And the wheel of death, which featured two crazy men with red belly-buttons on a contraption similar to what you'd see in a hamster's cage - only a little more dangerous: (photo: Olivier Samson Arcand)

My palms were clammy throughout.

There were lots of clowns in this show, interacting with the audience, and they were actually funny in a very slapsticky, in-your-face, scratch-your-butt kinda way. The only other circus I've seen is the Shriners' Circus when I was around 6 and those clowns made me cry. Too much scary make-up.

What I found truly impressive was the "in-betweens." The minute one act is over something else immediately starts to distract the audience from the set-up for the next act. Everything is beautiful to watch, every moment and and movement is a show.

I'm sure everyone who see le Cirque feels this way, but I was inspired, I really was! By the physical beauty of the set and the characters. By the strength, grace and humour of the performers. By the non-stop rhythm and pace of the show. It gave me hope; makes me want to be a better taiko performer, makes me want to create more original pieces, makes me want to push my limits and better myself. Lofty goals.

If Kooza comes to your city, do your best to go and see it.

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