Speaking of the Circus... I don't know if I have ever mentioned it before, but ever since the early 90's I have been absolutely obsessed with the Cirque du Soleil.
Yes, we all know the circus traditions, dating back almost as far as medievel times and (until recently) culminating with the so-called "Greatest Show on Earth." But Cirque du Soleil is something quite different. It is in fact, Circus as Theatre. Founded by a group of hippie street performers in the early 80's, Cirque du Soliel transcends traditional circus (and refuses to use animals), creating something unique and exhilirating. Combining acrobatics, contortion and daring stunts with astonishing and ecclectic music, this French-Canadian company has established itself as THE 21st Century Circus. With touring shows around the world as well as permanent shows in Orlando, Biloxi and Las Vegas, they are one of the most influential and original performance companies in the world. If you aren't familiar with their work, I invite you to watch the videos embedded below. Thrilling, daring, beautiful and awesome, I haven't missed a show since Saltimbanco, their first major North American tour. Simply Stunning.
First, here's a clip from Allegria, their second major tour:
Next, here is their first permanent Las Vegas show, Mystere:
Then came their next permanent show, O, at the Bellagio, which built a special water theatre just for them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS0pW2ty75s
Then came La Nouba, a permanent show at Disney Village in Orlando, Florida:
Then came their most ambitious show, Ka, a Russian-inspired Vegas show which featured their first ever full orchestra and choir:
Another Vegas show soon followed. Zumanity is aimed at Sin City's adult audiences and explores the circus that is human sexuality:
And for one of their more recent Vegas shows, they collaborated with Sir Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Yoko Ono and George Martin to create Love, a tribute to the Beatles:
Cirque du Soleil continues to create new and amazing experiences - I saw Kooza last year and am looking forward to Ovo (an apparently insect-inspired show) and Jukari on tour soon, as well a new Vegas show featuring illusionist Criss Angel, Believe. If you've never experienced them live, make it a point to do so. I promise you will be awed, inspired and completely entertained.
By the way, this post has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I would run away and join this circus at the drop of a hat. I just want to sit and watch them mesmorize again and again. If you can, watch these clips in Full Screen. And Ill be posting about their films, soon.