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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Cirque Du Soleil- Varekai

Last night, Karen and I went to see Cirque du Soleil's Varekai. It was fantastic! Incredible aerobatics and trapeeze artists. I simply LOVED it! Many times throughout the evening I found myself sweating over the incredible stunts these folks accomplished.

I found some information about the show from www. people.howstuffworks.com:

The Varekai show is about Icarus, the fabled son of the brilliant Greek artisan Daedalus. His is a story of how excitement can cloud one's better judgment. As Greek legend tells, Daedalus crafted two magnificent pairs of wings out of feathers and wax for himself and his brash young son (Icarus). Taking to the skies in a flurry of excitement, Icarus does not heed his father's warnings and strays too close to the sun, melting his wings. But, unlike the Icarus of fabled tale (in which Icarus plummets to his death) the Icarus of Cirque du Soleil falls into a fantastical world of good and evil where he must redeem himself.

The first act was an incredible display of Icarus who is bound in a net.

The second act (named Icarian games) gave us the tossing and juggling of men which was really unbelievable. The porter/artist lies upond his back and tosses the voltigeur/flyer with his feet. The three brothers that make up the team known as the Rampin Bros. - Javier Santos Leal ("Javi"), Pedro Santos Leal, and Ramon Santos Leal ("Moncho"), from Spain) come from a seven-generation family known as the Santos-Rampin, which explains how easy they make this art look.

The third of three aerial acts is a spectacle called the Aerial Straps. Performed by Kevin and Andrew Atherton (from the United Kingdom), they fly on the scene as one. But just as soon as they catch your eye, they become two angels flying amongst the stars. The Aerial Straps was a powerful and yet very elegant performance.

The fourth act was a glorious display of four "spider women" on the trapeeze.

One of the most impressive acts was the handbalancing on canes that came at the end of the second half of the performance.

All in all, it was an incredible show!

As we were driving home, Karen and I talked about the staff and effort that it takes to host an event like Varekai. K, these facts are for you!:

Today, a touring Cirque show traverses the world in a Cirque du Soleil "mobile town" designed to sit on 180,000 square foot site. The town requires a permanent staff of 140, as well as a temporary staff of 150 in each new city, to set up, break down and operate its facilities. It includes the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) and attached entrance tent, the stage, artistic tent, kitchen and dining areas, a school and the supplies needed to run it all. It takes 50 trucks carrying 1,000 tons of equipment each to move the town. It takes the crew eight days to set it up and three days to break it all down.

The Grand Chapiteau is a consistent fixture in all of Cirque's touring shows. This is the location of the main stage and performance areas. The Grand Chapiteau seats 2,500 people and requires the work of 70 people including "tent masters," trained specifically by Cirque for the monumental task of raising the big top.

Another hub of activity for those traveling with a Cirque "mobile town" is the kitchen and dining area. Here, performers and staff dine on meals prepared by five chefs (with thirteen staff in total). These chefs serve 300 meals a day to Cirque's performers and staff.

How about that!?!


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