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Saturday, 11 March 2017

Varekai - Cirque du Soleil, Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham


I vividly remember the first time I was introduced to Cirque du Soleil's work, it was way back in dance school where I was captivated by the song 'Alegría' after a dance school performance. I was introduced to work which captivated the human body in it's most extreme form, taking it way beyond it's limits and challenging an individual's own limits as they threw themselves into tricks that you couldn't imagine doing without being attached to as much safety gear as possible. Using the words of one of my favourite songs, they defied gravity! 

Their latest work, Varekai is currently wowing audiences across the UK in their first arena tour promising to be just as aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable as their works before. It's crazy to think that Cirque du Soleil has established itself as a global phenomenon and with more than 30 years of work already under their belt there is really no other company out there like them. The company has expanded with now more than 1,300 performers performing under the company's name worldwide every night. I see this companies work expand into many countries across the globe, that in itself is a true representation of their impact on attracting audiences to their seats.


The piece is described in their programme as a tribute to the 'normadic soul', a real sense of wonder and discovery as we began the piece by witnessing the focus on Greek mythology character Icarus as he falls from the centre of the ceiling. This beginning focal point saw us witnessing him fall from grace as he glides slowly to the ground with a single feather accompanying him. His wings are taken and captured by an evil man, we see Icarus's character begin to have a battle of frustration as he desperately tries to break free from the grasps of a net. Watching him fly across the space left me feeling slightly anxious but amazed at his bravery and ability to use his defined technique to move from a single piece of material without little supporting him. Introducing us to many individual characters as he embarks on a journey of discovery both physically and emotionally, the characters dressed up to the nines in some incredible costumes all very bright and visually stunning representations of a jungle likeness. Their transitions between the various acts including the setting up and taking down of apparatus was well executed without much distraction for the audience. They had a level of professionalism between transitions like no other I had seen before, there were no stage hands just each performer pulling together to make it a smooth performance run. 

Cirque du Soleil's work definitely focuses more on the visual of its productions rather than the  actual narrative, Varkai was no different to all of the previous works and is a visual masterpiece of the highest quality.

Varkai is a true representation of creativity, athleticism and intelligence at its very best. With a cast of forty performers as well as live musicians there's plenty for you to enjoy. If you aren't already captivated by the incredible performing arts throwing themselves on trapeze's across the arena or by bungee leads that soar them across the space, then there's balancing positions that will amaze you as well as the two 'clown' esque performers. These two had great interaction with the audience from beginning to end, integrating themselves within the storyline and bringing a playful element to the performance that sometimes is well needed for the younger audience. The Russian Swings were the perfect dose for the finale act, giving the audience the last chance to grab their attention fully with their incredible captivating tricks and skills with the use of little apparatus, I couldn't keep my eyes off them and they were without a doubt my favourite act of the entire evening. Watching themselves throw themselves into the air or from one apparatus to another with ease was incredible. They definitely had the audience exactly where they wanted to them, completing the incredible evening of sheer talent with a huge wow factor.

Cirque du Soleil really do outshine any of their previous works with Varkai and is such a visually gorgeous piece of work. Whilst it completes it's run in Nottingham after I've published this review it's well worth popping over to their website to check if they're reaching a arena near you this year. It's a company whose work is well worth the watch!

thanks for reading,
*I was gifted this ticket in exchange for a review, but all words and opinions are my own, they aren't copied or influenced by other blog reviews because I'm better than that. 

1 comment:

  1. This looks amazing ! Definitely need to see it!

    Keep up the great work!

    Em (onlythejade.blogspot.co.uk)

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