Friday, May 13, 2016

Cirque du Soleil's Ovo

crickets gathering around
unexplained ovo  (egg)
Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo, appearing at the Liacouras Center, is a captivating look at the world of insects at work and play. No need to fire up your imagination. The outstanding creative team has done all of your work for you. From the moment the show begins, you are transported into the Lilliputian world of the ant, spider, firefly, cricket and Ladybug as they astonish and amaze everyone observing them in their dazzling habitat. The costumes are magnificent. Most insects have two; a complex one as they wander around the community and a sleeker one as they perform their acrobatic feats. And what acts they are!  A row of ants juggle large kiwis and corn on their feet and interchange them with each other with millisecond precision. A mind-boggling dragonfly balances on his hand and maneuvers over and around a giant plant stalk while the leaf opens and closes on a projection screen behind him. His amazing balance would rate a 10 from an Olympian judge. An astonishing butterfly struggles to emerge from a cocoon high up the ropes and succeeds as long flowing silks materialize along with her body. As a spider contortionist slowly and spectacularly weaves her web, the web appears not only on the projection screen behind her but on the floor as well; several crickets are magically attracted. The pièce de resistance is the dozen member cricket and ant community who cling to a climbing wall, jump off to a trampoline, bounce back to the wall and run straight up, only to bounce down and begin anew with double and triple flips. Throughout the performance the arena is alive with the buzz of insects, achieved both with live instruments and an electronic keyboard.  Several characters have their own sounds and individual themes.  The foreigner, who arrives with an egg, is smitten with the Ladybug. They are spotlighted on several occasions; as they “converse”, high wires and other equipment are surreptitiously set up in the darkness. On other occasions, live music is spotlighted to divert the audience’s attention from the equipment arrangements. Everything about this performance is enthralling. It may be a unique concept to view the world from an insect’s point of view, but every aspect of Ovo is riveting. 

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