Monday, February 16, 2009
My Surprise? Cirque Du Soleil!
Look at that glorious color! I'm posting the show schedule below. If it's coming to a city near you, you must go!
Yes, Jorge surprised me with tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco, literally translated: "to jump on a bench," which might be the biggest understatement of the century if you're describing the show.
But before I talk about the show, let me mention the pre-show entertainment, because like my co-Hoosier John Mellencamp has so eloquently stated in the song Small Town: "I'm still hayseed enough to say, 'Hey, look who's in the big town.'" And I'm also hayseed enough to get very excited about the spotlight manager who scaled a tiny little ladder to the top of the stadium, jumped to a hanging chair, strapped himself in and pulled up the ladder for his descent later. WOW. WOW. I thought I'd pass out from the danger and excitement displayed right then, and he wasn't even part of the show! Go Spotlighter Guy!
Saltimbanco is Cirque's longest running show, from 1992 to the present. Over 10 million have seen it, and I'll bet you could get almost 10 million different descriptions of it.
It's thematic, but there is no plot. It’s musically eclectic, from operatic to tribal to jazz. It’s acrobatic, but it's also about ballet and interpretive dance. There are few words spoken, and I don't know for sure, but I don't think the words are from a real language; they're sort of like dolphin clicks and whistles combined with tribal woops and nonsense syllables punctuated by exaggerated facial expressions and flailing arms. The costumes are harlequinesque. Some characters are like people; some are like animals. I guess I'm not sure what I saw!
One of our favorite acts was the Chinese pole act, wherein characters who slithered around like lizards or worms on stage quickly crawled up poles to perform amazing tricks that defied gravity. They scampered up those poles like Spiderman scaling a building. And sometimes they hopped from one pole to another like bugs. But the whole time, they held their bodies at impossible angles which boggled your mind. You could hear audience members saying, "No. Way. NOWAYY!"
We enjoyed the Alexis brothers' (as seen on Oprah) amazing balance and brute strength as they lifted each other and did impossible things like one brother holding the other in the air with only their shoulder blades touching (one was upside down, and it was like their bones sort of hooked.)
We also enjoyed the bungee ballet and the twin girls who performed on the trapeze (I was so glad I wasn't their mom.)
And then there was the Russian swing, which involved four or five people making a swing arc as high as possible in the arena and then letting go at the highest point, with each flyer falling to spotters holding a mat under them. Sometimes the spotters had to run a little bit with the mat to get under the falling person. Even though I knew the flyers wouldn't, I thought I would die every time someone let go at the top of Conseco Fieldhouse. Watching people on videos or TV is nothing like being there.
You can see a short trailer for the show by clicking on the header of the screen on the word "trailer" here.
And although this is a terrible picture, it's my picture, one I took myself of a Saltimbanco truck, just to prove to you and me that I was actually there!
Saltimbanco--is it coming to a city near you? Then you must go!
Baton Rouge, LA
Feb. 18 to Feb. 20, 2009
Feb. 24 to March 1, 2009
March 4 to March 8, 2009
March 11 to March 15, 2009
April 2 to April 5, 2009
April 9 to April 12, 2009
April 15 to April 19, 2009
North Charleston, SC
April 22 to April 26, 2009
April 29 to May 3, 2009
May 7 to May 10, 2009
May 13 to May 17, 2009
May 20 to May 24, 2009
May 27 to June 7, 2009
June 25 to July 5, 2009
July 8 to July 12, 2009