Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna

What: Cirque du Soleil, Amaluna
Locations: touring
Canada, USA ... and probably worldwide soon

I'm not a newbie to the world of Cirque du Soleil, so I went to see the Amaluna show without too high an expectation, but boy was it good. As usual, Canada's best known circus group Cirque du Soleil performs with just the barest of storylines to hold all the different acrobatic acts together.

Amaluna is loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest, but with the added twist of focusing on women. For the first time ever, there are more women cast members than men (in fact, 70% of the cast are females). I took my family to see it and they much preferred the show without referring to the plot.  

But despite the lack of a good narrative, the show is outstanding. I love circuses of all types, and my whole family does too (some of us have been to circus school training for a very short time!) ... and the thing that strikes us the most is watching the mind-blowing feats that human bodies can do so smoothly, sinuously and most of all, so effortlessly! There are trampoline acts, highwire balancing acts, pole acts, aerial silks, unicycles, juggling, balancing etc, and all the performers make each movement look so easy to do, even though they're very hard. 

In a lot of circus shows, performers try to do the most 'impressive' acts to audience members that are none the wiser, and most of the time they would stick to technically easy yet visually impressive moves. However, with Cirque du Soleil, they don't just try to wow you with one visual stunt after visual stunt: they actually execute incredibly difficult techniques perfectly! My juggler/unicycling friend was very pleased to see the main juggler in this show perform with five, even six balls, and doing really fantastic stunts. On top of that, the twin unicyclists are incredible, they could spin on the spot and next to each other in intricate swirls, all done in very, very fast movements. Very impressive! 

My personal favourites are the lead male and female characters' own specialties: the female does body-twisting dives and bends inside a fish-bowl like tank, and the male climbs up and down a pole like it's a walk in the park.

Amaluna is a travelling show, so they set up temporary circus tents like they would back in the 1800s. Very old school, very intimate, so even with the cheapest seats (where we sat), you would get pretty good views.

My only negative point would be the music. I found it too loud and overwhelming, full of blasting rock sequences and I much prefer if the music is softer, more delicate (i.e. rather the violin than the electric guitar). But then again, the bursts of visual and audio splendour are the signature styles for this very conspicuous circus troupe. 

If you've never seen Cirque du Soleil, you should start with this one, and if you're a seasoned attendee, you should still give this a try.  

PS: we also recently saw circus show Cantina's performance in London, UK. It has a very different aesthetic from Cirque du Soleil: more old-style french, bohemian/burlesque. The show's already over, so I won't write a review now.

No comments:

Post a Comment