I intended to write this post after seeing Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil at Radio City Music Hall in August, but time got away from me. My friend Angie invited me to a last minute summer Saturday matinee and I jumped at the opportunity. I had not seen a Cirque du Soleil performance in several years and was excited to see how it had changed over time. When the fantastical circus first arrived in New York City in the late early 90’s I was hooked. I’ve never loved the traditional circus, with animals, clowns and kid centric themes, but fell head over heels for the mime focused story lines, acrobatic moves of the performers and the music. Back in the day, the shows were performed under large circus tents at either Battery Park City or Randall’s Island where I would purchase a CD after and leave mesmerized by the evening. An old college friend would count down the months when Cirque du Soleil was coming to town (it was usually every two years) because she knew we were going to buy tickets.
When I entered Radio City Music Hall I could already see the changes. The stage was beautiful and I knew that we were in for a more high tech performance. The show started and it was visually a sight to behold. The colors were rich, vibrant and the performers kept us on the edge of our seats as they balanced on tight wires, ladders and each other’s shoulders high up in the air. The Cirque du Soleil company has been dazzling audiences since 1984 and Zarkana features a diverse cast of 75 international artists. Later I heard people in the crowd say that the matinee was a shortened version of the show. However, my favorite performances included the human wheel hoops that rolled around the stage in perfect form.
While the human wheel hoops were amazing, it was Anatole’s hand balancing act that took mybreath away. The slow yoga like moves unfolded gently on the stage as Anatole slipped in and out of his poses. Here is a clip of Anatole in Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil.
While I enjoyed the show, a part of me missed the simpler days under the tent, when only the music and the performances captured my imagination. The new technology and staging is wonderful but I need to see it again, so I can really hear the music and see all the performance details.
If you have a chance you should see Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil. It is moving to its official new home,as of November 1, in Las Vegas at the ARIA Resort & Casino, a AAA Five Diamond resort. During the month of October the show is in preview. Tickets can be purchased by calling 702 531 3800 or 866 799 7711 or on-line at cirquedusoleil.com or arialasvegas.com or by visiting any MGM Resorts ticket office. For more information, visit the Cirque du Soleil website at www.cirquedusoleil.com.
If you can’t get to Las Vegas then win a Cirque Du Soleil: Zarkana Souvenir Program, DVD of Cirque du Soleil: Alegria- Live in Sydney (2003) and Cirque du Soleil -Nouvelle Experience (2001) in today’s #WINWEDNESDAY.
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