I finally got to see OVO by Cirque du Soleil at the Mall of America on Sunday.
It was amazing.
If you’re not familiar with it, Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) is a theatrical take on the circus, minus the animals. It’s a remarkable mix of gymnastics and choreography and theater, featuring trapeze artists, jugglers, tight-rope walkers, trampolines and contortionists and climbing walls and stilt-walkers amidst an artfully-designed set and backed by superb musicians.
One of the joys of athletic performance is the feeling of command one has over one’s body when you’re able to make it perform the athletic feats necessary to excel. If you can appreciate that, you cannot fail to appreciate the phenomenal athletic performances Cirque du Soleil offers.
As if that weren’t enough, take that athleticism and throw on top of it a layer of unbelievable choreography that synchronizes a handful of performers juggling oversized kiwi, and themselves, without missing a beat.
The set design was both subtle and heavy handed at the same time. During the song Cacoon, a performer is suspended above the stage swathed in sheer cloth, mimicking the metamorphosis into a butterfly so seamlessly, with the help of stage lighting, that the whole thing reminded me of animation by Gerald Scarfe.
Likewise, the set featured a giant, phallic stalk of vegetation and an oversized, unfolding flower that made their appearances during key romantic scenes. These, two, reminded me of Scarfe heavy-handed sexual imagery. Found at YouTube from floydiantheo.
Wrap all that together and it amounts to an amazing experience.