Red Koi Reviews

See what I've seen, hear what I've heard

Varekai by Cirque du Soleil

Posted by redkoireviews on 13/08/2006

VarekaiA couple of years ago, my partner and I went to see Quidam by Cirque du Soleil, and loved it. So when we heard that they were back out here in the land of Oz with Varekai, we booked early.

Cirque du Soleil always perform in their own tent, with the stage and seating arranged ‘in the round’. This makes it a lovely, festival feel, where the performers never feel too far away.

Varekai means ‘wherever’ in the Romany language, capturing the sense of being taken away, perhaps somewhere magical and unknown. The plot is (very) loosely based on the Greek myth of the fall of Icarus, but the format is largely a series of acts.

In any other book, play, theatre or performance, a series of acts with a thin plot would spell a disaster – but it’s the performers and their acts that make Varekai truly magical. Many of the acts make your jaw drop through the sheer physical feats and risky stunts, but the performers and costumes take it to another level. I think the two men on the aerial straps best captured just how beautiful and mystical Cirque du Soleil can be. At times their combined shapes and movement reminded me of the multi-armed Hindu god Ganesha, at other times their lives were entrusted completely in each other and their symmetry – the ultimate ying yang.

There are very few things that will make me gasp repeatedly, and the Russian swing performers are one of them. Teams of men work together on large swings to propel themselves through the air, landing on the other team’s swing after having spun like a top from one to the other.

Varekai is the sparkle in life that we often overlook, and you could see it in the eyes of the performers after they complete a difficult trick. Their faces scream “I’m alive” so brilliantly you don’t need to hear it.

Finally, Cirque du Soleil is about taking risks, and accepting that can mean mistakes are made. Performers would make a first attempt, miss, but make it on the second attempt. Somehow this just makes you appreciate the skill involved even more.

If I ever had kids, I would book them in for this show from birth. It’s the closest they’ll get to pure magic in a world full of manufactured pretenders.

My Rating: 5 Stars

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One Response to “Varekai by Cirque du Soleil”

  1. barbra said

    really good

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