The very first Cirque du Soleil show I ever went to was O about five or six years ago, and it has been my favorite Cirque show ever since. Unfortunately, the first time I went, it was a last minute thing with my mom, brother and sister, so our tickets weren’t together. As a result, I got the lone better seat from the bunch, and I had fully intended to switch with my sister at intermission, but then it turned out there wasn’t one. As to be expected, I have never heard the end of it from my sister….
Anyways, as we were deciding on what show to see this time around, we had a heck of time finding a show that none of us had seen. Interestingly enough, O turned out to be a unanimous choice in spite of the fact that many of us had seen it before.
My favorite aspect of O is that everything revolves around water and specifically the pool of water that appears and disappears from the stage throughout the show. Many of the acts are done on top of and above the water, but there is a fair amount of diving into the water as well so I can only imagine how deep the pool goes.
I always really like the acrobatic acts and in particular, I like the high flying diving acts like the Russian Swing where they are swinging back and forth on this giant swings and each performer gets essentially catapulted off the swing and into the air where they flip, turn, dance and pose through the air and dive straight into the water. The Bateau is still kind of neat, because they’ve taken the traditional trapeze act and put it on a boat flying above the water. Although it is a creative way of pulling the theme through, the acrobatics weren’t as awe-inspiring as some of the other performances. Another common act that you see often in Cirque shows are the body-bending acts. These are where the performers bend, stretch and hold their bodies in ways that leave you baffled and sometimes cringing at the same time. The Barge act is where the performers climb on top of each other and hold themselves and others in these gravity-defying poses. The interesting component was how they would dive in and come out of the water as the entered and exited each pose. One might argue they were trying too hard to use the water in this act, but I liked it. The Contortion act is usually the one that makes you want to cringe when you see theirbodies bend in ways that make you almost turn away, because it looks so unnatural. Both are very good and I enjoyed it. The Clown act is usually kind of whatevers for me. Sometimes I wish they would hurry it along, because I’m more interested to see the acrobatic acts, but the Sailor Clowns in this one do their act on top of a house floating in the water, and it’s relatively entertaining.
It was almost like a new show for me even though this was the second time, because I couldn’t remember (for the life of me) a lot of the acts. I do remember some components of the show like the floating carousel horses that fly through and eventual land in the water, the synchronized swimmers, and the clowns… but there was definitely enough that I didn’t remember where I felt like was seeing the show for the first time. I think it continues to be my favorite Cirque du Soleil show, but since seeing some others, there are some that are equally impressive. This makes me want to go back and revisit those shows and try to remember them all.
Pictures taken from Cirque du Soleil website.