Cirque du Soleil
San Jose Travel Blog› entry 26 of 31 › view all entries
The last time I went to the circus, I was 8 years old, and it was the Ringling Brothers in some giant arena where my family could only afford nosebleed seets behind a giant pillar. We could barely see the middle ring of the chaotic, boominly loud three-ring circus. There was only one row of seats behind us, and it was occupied by the loudest, most stereotypically obnoxious family ever. Like, loud, shoving popcorn into their mouths, ridiculously bellowing laughter at unfunny clowns, popcorn falling out of their mouths as they laugh. A whole family of them.
Cirque du Soleil, founded by flexible French Canadians, is a much different experience. Thanks to my Montreal-based company, I snagged some free tickets to a dress rehearsal and brought JP because I assume he would be interested in anything that involves men in skin-tight costumes contortioning all over each other.
First of all, Cirque du Soleil is in a real tent. A tent next to a bridge. How exquisitely retro. The tent is relatively small, so pretty much everyone sees everything up close. There's no animals, just lots of flexible people doing flexible tricks, flying through the air, and clowns doing slapstick. The clowns run through the audience during set changes, throwing glitter and streamers everywhere, and there's audience participation, although we were never quite sure if the audience members were plants.
The action's very focused, and all the acts are structured around a basic "story", kind of like a circus-play. The theme this time was "Kooza", which sounds vaguely dirty, but refers more to some magical imaginary land than the skin-tight, crotch-enhancing costumes of the acrobats. There was still a little too much clown for my taste, but the stunts did not dissapoint, and overall, the show was great. Getting to see all the tricks up close and personal is a really cool experience. Plus, there were funny hats to try on in the gift shop area!