Cirque du Soleil Goes Hollywood

Iris: A Journey Through the World of Cinema - Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil Website

I have seen quite a few Cirque du Soleil shows over the years, and I really think they are high quality entertainment.  The combination of acrobatics, artistry and comedy makes for a pretty satisfying social excursion.  I heard that Cirque du Soleil was planning a permanent show at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, so I was quite excited when I found out that it was finally opening this summer.  I decided to organize an evening out with the family to see Iris (pronounced Ear-reese).  So it was my mom, Smooth Obturator, Triple T, Triple T’s parental unit and Pdho.

 

Stage inside Kodak Theater

The Kodak Theater is located within the retail dining and entertainment center at the Hollywood and Highland.  It’s a really nice place actually, and its proximity to Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the Hollywood Walk of Fame makes you feel like you’re in the heart of the entertainment world, at least the tacky touristy aspect of it. Hehe!

 

Man with a Headtail
Filmstrip Lady

Because the show was still in preview, the theater was not at all filled to capacity.  We got some really good seats in Orchestra for a really great price.  I think it ended up costing $67/ticket and considering the full price was $133, I thought we got a fantastic deal.  We go there with plenty of time to spare and sat down to enjoy the performers walking throughout the theater.  They were a little odd looking, and I wasn’t sure what to make of them.

 

Filmstrip Lady Posing
Filmstrip Lady in Action

There was this lady walking around with spinning filmstrip as a skirt, so when she gave it a spin, it would give this affect of a filmstrip moving around.  It was actually quite neat.  Unfortunately, photography was not allowed, so aside from a little stealth photographing with my iPhone before the show, I didn’t get many other pictures.

Although there were a few minor missteps here and there, the show as a whole was quite close to flawless.  It was definitely better than the Quidam show Pdho and I went to a couple of months ago which really looked like the backup team to the benchwarmers performing.  The individual performances included the following:

  • 2 guys flying across the stage on curtain-like ropes
  • 4 Chinese girls bending their bodies
  • 2 couples dancing and flying with stop camera effect
  • Dancers moving through a “filmstrip” with 7 boxes
  • 9 Chinese men doing acrobatic flips and jumps
  • Movie set madness
  • Lady swinging on trapeze
  • Awards intermission
  • Hotel roof top scene with trampolenes
  • Lady balancing on 2 poles
  • 4 trapeze swings above and people dancing on stage

One of the most “wow”-ful acts was the 4 Chinese girls doing eery, impossibly inhuman contortions with their bodies.  I was mesmerized yet simultaneously cringing with each pose they completed.  I really enjoyed the 9 Chinese men flipping and jumping across the stage.  There were a few slight missteps, but it didn’t really take away from the act.  I think the one that perfectly combined the acrobatics and aesthetics that have come to define Cirque du Soleil was the roof top scene where performers were jumping across the stage on trampolines while playing out a cops and robbers movie scene.  The set design was beautiful as it truly evoked a 1930’s rooftop feel, and the trampoline work was just amazing.

There were quite a few cinema-centric acts, and I think the most creative one that I liked the best was where a troupe of performers were moving through 7 boxes essentially doing each movement in sync, supposedly emulating a filmstrip effect.  I also liked the couples dancing around while a  stop camera effect of their movements was projected on a screen behind them.  It was quite interesting.

I was actually quite impressed with Iris as a whole.  The Hollywood cinema theme was creatively weaved through the entire show.  Although the “awe” level of the acrobatic acts wasn’t as high as some other shows that I’ve seen, there was still a fair amount of “wowing” through out the evening.  I definitely think it is worth a visit especially if you have never seen Cirque du Soleil, but even for those veteren-goers such as myself, I still found a great deal of enjoyment in it.

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