This should be a fairly image heavy post, but my camera tragically didn’t want to cooperate with me. I apologize in advance.
Before last weekend, I had never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance. The Cirque passes through my city on a fairly regular basis during their tours, but I’d never gone to see a show, usually because of the price of admission and my lack of funds at the time. Also, any friends who might join me were also affected by a lack of funds.
However, when the Cirque set up a city over with their Steampunk show Kurios, I had to see it. The result was a weekend trip through rain, wind, and weird smelling popcorn.
Since getting tickets, I was excited for the show, but in that subtle way most people are when they’re looking forward to something. That was until I saw the tent.
It was in a tent and I was suddenly seven.
We walked in to the smell of popcorn and cotton candy. Booths sold souvenirs ranging from keychains to soundtracks both vinyl and disc to shirts to DVDs of older shows. The center-most support pillars hosted bars selling beer and wine. Despite the pouring rain outside, the interior of the tent was quite warm. Our seats were nearly ring-side, giving us an excellent view of the stage, and the intricate steampunk devices set up there.
The soundtrack for this show—which I bought during the intermission—was upbeat, almost like swing. A woman in a gram-o-phone hat sang alongside the music, but there wasn’t much for actual lyrics. It was mostly musical sounds like “la” sung, though it fit, giving the illusion of lyrics, without words to distract from what was happening on stage.
The acts were varied, with balancing acts, acrobats, contortionists, and high-flying stunts. If I had to pick my top three parts, I would say the contortionists and the comedy acts. There were two comedy acts done between some major performances. One involved a tiny stage rigged with machinery to play an invisible circus. Another was a skit of a man trying to impress a girl, only for his cat to take over while he was getting them something to drink.
The guy did an absolutely brilliant impression of a cat, from kneading to sticking his ass in her face to hopping off the couch to use the litter box and then coming right back for attention.
While the acts were all very impressively performed and costumed in their own right, I thought the best act was the quartet of contortionists. They were wheeled in on the back of a giant mechanical hand, all intertwined in a pile. Dressed in fully body suits, they invoked the image of an orange, blue-spotted octopus when they moved. They were mesmerizing. Their bodies contorted in impossible ways that seemed to flow so naturally from them. And despite the fact that they were all five-nothing with ribs that were visible in some of their motions, you could see the strength to them.
I wouldn’t want to fight a contortionist. Just saying.
Kurios was a grand show, hampered by only two things: the torrential rain that poured throughout the day, and the smell of salt & vinegar barbeque popcorn my dad had purchased from the refreshment booth.
My first Cirque de Soleil was an absolutely fantastic one. I’d recommend seeing Kurios if you get the chance. And if you can’t see that one, well, they’ve got a plethora of other shows as well!