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January 25, 2013 / Siobhan Argent

Cirque du Soleil – Ovo


Published by Beat January 2013

Ovo

Cirque du Soleil is well-known for certain elements of its act, not all of them universally liked. This includes hyperactive performers, garish costuming and props, and a certain element of grating childishness.

To be fair, the nature of their new show Ovo does make the performers look like somersaulting Teletubbies. And the ‘plot’ is annoyingly nonsensical. There’s an egg. A clownish mosquito wants it but other insects want it more. Perhaps if you watch them all perform their seriously dorky Hi-5 dance routines, you may be able to discern some interpretive-dance-related explanation for why insects want to simply have a giant egg. Still, it’s difficult to see why they bother with all of this, since the acrobatics themselves are so stunning that everything else just seems like unnecessary fluff.

It’s an injustice trying to squeeze in all the performances here. Suffice it to say that if there’s one particular type of circus act you prefer, you’ll find it in this show. Worthy mentions go to the foot-juggling Ants, who were stunningly adept at throwing things—including each other—into the air using their feet. Spiderman Julaiti Ailati deserves kudos for a sore head, since it took all of his weight during a handstand…on a slackwire. Graceful butterflies Svitlana Kashevarova and Dmytro Orel made us swoon with their romantic interpretation of the straps, while the circus clowns consistently proved their worth. The trio (Simon Bradbury, Barthelemy Glumineau and Michelle Matlock) were caricatures magnified, adept at being cartoonish but not overly garish.

In terms of logistics, there were some elements that seemed ill-conceived. There appeared to be only two small toilet blocks—for a sold-out crowd of around 2600 people—and the strategy for mass exiting was so strangely engineered that cars in the VIP parking area left more quickly than hundreds of people lining up to use a tiny pedestrian exit. But since Cirque du Soleil has successfully weaved its own brand of circus magic for years, I have no doubt that such logistical anomalies will not stop the masses coming to see what is a consistent and professional circus show.

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