Cirque du Soleil acrobats follow a Russian theme in this “Swing”

Cirque du Soleil’s
“Varekai” has arrived in San Jose just in time. We need to enter
another dimension. Experience the unique. Become enchanted.
Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” has arrived in San Jose just in time. We need to enter another dimension. Experience the unique. Become enchanted.

Go and see the Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” and all the above will be your gift for an exchange of a few hours of your time.

From the moment you enter the specially appointed, blue and gold tent, you feel the anticipation of going on an exciting journey. Strange impish sprites get some of the audience involved in a preshow entertainment that sets the mood. By the time all are seated, the tent flaps shut and the lights dim, there is a feeling of preparedness for an exciting adventure – and what an adventure!

Your senses are bombarded with a kaleidoscope of mind-enhancing color, movement and sound that are completely unique, new and enchanting.

The ‘Cirque” does not have animals doing things they really don’t want to do. (I have always liked to think of it as a vegetarian circus), but there are a lot of people doing wonderful things some of which you have never seen before, some doing things we have seen before with a type of panache that brings up the old adage, “it’s not what you do but how you do it”.

The performers project throughout that they are having a great time. The feeling is transmitted to the audience as they glide, balance, fly, defy gravity and turn themselves inside out and right side up with – that old circus cliché – the greatest of ease.

Music is a highlight played by Michel Cyre’s group with an appealing ear haunting original score by Violine Corradi, enhanced with the spectral voices of Mathieu LaVoie and Zara Tellander.

The production is seamless, every act is choreographed to blend with what has gone before. Every move has been detailed to fit into the creatively designed set as an integral part of the production.

As usual there is a surreal flavor woven into the thin, philosophical story. The concept has Icarus falling into a forest near the summit of a volcano that is inhabitant by strange creatures. Don’t bother to try and figure it out until you have a few days to digest this whole experience. By then you won’t care, you will just remember the experience.

An inoffensive comedy flavor runs throughout and, for the most part, are funny, relaxing moments to catch your breath between breathtaking feats. An essence of sensuality is scattered here and there – just enough to stay on the side of good taste.

Cirque costumes are usually outstanding but this production’s skin-tight wardrobe is stunning, even sometimes wonderfully, outlandishly colorful. Eiko Ishioka has out done “over the top” with outrageous charm.

This year’s Montreal-based production is called “Varekai” (which means “wherever” in the Romany language of gypsies – those universal wanderers) takes place in San José in a state-of-the-art climate controlled, blue and gold big top (custom designed and made in France at a cost of $750,000) and comfortably holds 2,500 people. Comfortable seats improve every year.

There is only one problem with this Cirque du Soleil: some might not want to return to the reality of today. It’s worth the risk.

Camille Bounds is the entertainment and arts editor for Sunrise Publications.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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