Cirque du Soleil shows never fail to entertain, and Varekai, which plays the Amway Center this week, is very entertaining indeed.
Last night was the first night of the show in Orlando, which runs through this Sunday, September 21, and there was a good crowd for a midweek night.
Pre-show entertainment came courtesy of two clowns, Joanna and Steven, who acted as ushers checking out the guests near the stage.
The show itself started with a meeting with a character called The Skywatcher, who is a scientist and inventor. Then many of the characters joined him on the stage, as it was transformed into a magical forest.
This leads into the ending of the classic fable Flight of Icarus, where Icarus falls from the sky as he attempts to fly. He then is lifted up in a net which he uses to perform aerial acrobatics.
Shortly after he meets The Betrothed, and finds himself bewitched by her. The show then segues into the Icarian Games, where the human body becomes a juggling tool in a highly choreographed presentation of strength, balance and agility.
This is followed by an aerial hoop act, and a humorous magic act skit by the clowns, using a member of the audience. Then the Georgian Dance troupe takes to the stage in a choreographed movement that is equal parts precision and frenzy.
My favorite act was the Slippery Surface acrobats, which came next. Dressed in multi-colored outfits that resembled flowering plants, the artists balanced, slid, and whipped themselves around a specially designed blue surface that resembled water.
An acrobatic dance on crutches came next, followed by two men doing synchronized aerial acrobatics using nothing but wrist straps. A juggling virtuoso was next, utilizing everything from soccer balls to bowling pins.
My second favorite act was next. The Betrothed had morphed into a flexible contortionist, moving her body into strange positions, all while balancing on a series of poles. It is during her movements she catches the eye of Icarus once again, and they decide to become a couple.
Their wedding entertainment, and the final act of the evening, is a troupe of Russian acrobats who utilize gigantic swings to propel each other into the air. They land on partner’s crossed wrists, huge hanging canvasses, and even soar from one swing to another.
Varekai took us into a land of enchantment populated by denizens with startling grace, strength, and flexibility, and it was a truly wonderous trip.
I highly recommend catching Varekai before it leaves Orlando on September 21. You’ll really enjoy the show. Tickets are still available for all shows online at AmwayCenter.com or at the box office.
Disclosure: I received a pair of tickets from Cirque and the Amway Center. My opinions, as usual, are my own.
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