Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


Seen: Cirque du Soleil Preview

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

This September, a new cast of characters will be rolling into town. As if Los Angeles didn't attract enough eccentric creatives already, Cirque du Soleil will be adding to that wonderful mix. They'll be staging "Iris," the company's homage to this town's long and lasting romance with cinema.

Yesterday was Cirque du Soleil day in LA, I was told. The company was celebrating the 27th anniversary of its breakthrough show held in Los Angeles. President and CEO Daniel Lamarre had said that in many ways Cirque du Soleil was coming back home to the city that first embraced them.

The preview had all of us seated in the first five rows of the Kodak Theatre. As the light darkened, we could see a three-ring circus set-up laid out on stage. On the main stage was the traditional red curtain projected on-screen. On either side were large ringmasters cutouts ringed with Edison-type bulbs. Their mouths became the orifices where audiences could peek into the ongoing act.

Cirque previewed two amazing shows. The first was of two men (twins, I would guess) flying through the air suspended from the ceiling. Without nets, they grappled with each other and entwined themselves together. It was mesmerizing. I found myself gasping and worrying for their safety too. At some points, one man was flying through the air with only his foot held on by the other.

The second act was more of parkour meets trampoline with chase scenes done Jackie Chan style. An approximate Los Angeles skyline was created, which also doubled as their parkour playground. Within a couple of minutes, mob chases and simulated gunfire ensued, while bodies flew left and right. Whoosh!

When I first came to see the show, I didn't expect to like it. I expected more Las Vegas outrageous glamour. Instead, I found a certain poetry in the movement and execution.

The acts were coupled with soaring music scored by none other than Danny Elfman. Needless to say, I'm looking forward to seeing the whole show unfold in Los Angeles. Yes, I might even splurge on that.

Cirque du Soleil previews start July 21.


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