Thursday, September 13, 2018

Cirque Du Soleil “Wows” With New Show

Review of Cirque Du Soleil's "Volta."
Volta (photo credit: Patrice Lamoureux)
REVIEW
A few things you can always count on when watching a Cirque Du Soleil performance: The show will always be artsy, the acts will always be amazing, the costumes will be crazy and there will almost always be some weirdness involved. Volta, the circus company’s traveling show here for a limited time features all of those elements but this show is probably one of the most family-friendly shows that features stunts that “real” kids could master themselves if they work hard at it.

Focusing a lot on extreme sports this time around, Volta attempts to share a storyline about a young teenager who doesn’t fit in with the usual crowd who march in unison staring at the cell phones all wearing the same grey clothes. He attempts to show off his talent for the “Mr. Wow Show” only to be laughed at off the stage. (The cast and crew of the “Mr. Wow Show” look like they just stepped out of “The Hunger Games” movie) He is then befriended by a group of (literally) colorful characters who don’t dress or act alike and convince him that he is more like them. Or something.

Review of Cirque Du Soleil's "Volta."
(Photo: Michael Kass)
Volta is said to be “about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and recognizing one’s own power to make it possible. Ultimate freedom comes with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.” While this production is incredible, the storytelling is confusing at best. Many of the acts do not fit into this theme either, which is fine really. Just don’t expect to be moved by the message. Instead, be surprised by how many times you say “wow” out loud watching the show.

Volta is Cirque du Soleil’s 41’st original show since 1984 and 18th featured under the “big top.” This particular show features artists from the USA, Canada, Finland, Brazil, Italy, Uruguay, Australia, Japan, France, the UK, Russia, China, South Africa, Slovakia, Cambodia and Poland. The costumes that they wear were designed by Zaldy Godo who has done work for the likes of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Britney Spears and others. The set is simply a circle with the audience sitting up closer than the usual performance.

Review of Cirque Du Soleil's "Volta."
(Photos: Michael Kass and BenoitZ)
Andrey Kislitsin from Russia plays Mr. Wow who is also the show’s resident clown. He is a young clown who masters older clown techniques. Kids will love this guy who is not only funny, but sweats buckets during his routines. As for the acts, there is a nice mix of things you’ve never seen or thought possible and surprisingly, they aren’t perfect. But what makes this show so great is that when an artist fails on their mission, they are encouraged for their fellow artists and the audience alike to try it again. When they do and succeed, the crowd goes wild. Everyone watching is rooting for all of the performers to win.

Volta’s show’s acts includes:

The Mr. Wow Show
Featuring amazing rope skipping tricks, a man spinning around in a giant ring and larger-than-life costumed judges.

Meeting Ela
This is when the cool, colorful kids coming in performing a bunch of street sports including roller skates and an amazing unicycle act.


Review of Cirque Du Soleil's "Volta."
(Photo: Michael Kass and BenoitZ)
Guardian Angel in the City
Pawel Walczewski performs what is called the “Acro Lamp,” which looks like dining room table that he glides around in the air upon.

Rise & Shine
A bunch of characters jumping on large trampoline and bouncing off the walls. One of the best acts of the night.

Mr. Wow’s Nightmare
The clown attempts to do laundry with some trouble.

Daydreaming
This is one unusual act that features a BMX bike rider and a ballet dancer and surprisingly, it works.

Review of Cirque Du Soleil's "Volta."
Intervention
Perhaps my favorite act of the night included dropping two women from the ceiling on bungees alternating with eight guys swinging on Swiss rings and doing flips.

Leaving the City
Two performers do a balancing act on a contraption called the acrobatic ladder that folds up.

Urban Jungle
This fun act features a group of performers jumping through various shapes at different heights.

La Page
Mr. Wow goes to the beach.

Mirage
This “hair-raising” performance is just incredible. Danila Bim from Brazil flies around the big top by her hair! Besides looking painful, it was a beautiful production. (Don’t try this at home.)

Breakthrough
The kid shows his stuff in a contemporary dance act

Momentum
An amazing performance featuring a bunch of BMX bike riders and glass-paneled ramps the turn on the giant turntable.

Overall, Volta isn’t as extravagant as previous shows. It does feature fire or water effects, but it does feature a large turntable and some clever set designs. Instead of the usual big closing number/production, Volta only features the cast to run out around the stage, wave and then run back. It was a bit disappointing, but overall, this is another show not to be missed.

Volta continues playing at Marymoor Park through November 4, 2018 with tickets starting at $39. (Tickets can be purchased online here.) Marymore Park is also changing $20 for parking. Marymoor Park is located at 6046 West Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, Redmond, WA 98052.

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