The worst thing about trying to write about Cirque Du Soleil shows is trying hard not to give away surprises (which is why I only wrote about three of the acts that appeared in Saltimbanco). I would dearly love to tell you about the opening to the second half with the giant curtain because for me it was the most beautiful part of the show & many other points too. This is a great credit to Cirque Du Soleil, few shows contain so many surprises for an audience. That said there are a few things I have to write about.
Dralion contains a lot of tradition from the Chinese Circus. One of the most famous Chinese circus acts is the traditional hoop diving. A stack of 3 hoops at angles to each other stood on a small raised platform in the centre of the centre stage. Just to make things even more difficult the stack of hoops rotated. The performers took up positions at the far edges of the circular stage & hurled themselves through the various rings, first singly then 2 at a time in ever more difficult ways. The rotating stack was dismantled, more hoops appeared from trapdoors in the stage & the platform was rearranged to have a stack of hoops on each of the four sides of the square (I was very impressed with the high quality of choreography of the change with the support crew underneath the stage </nerd>). Again the acrobats pulled off increasingly spectacular dives, one of which was a dive through the lower hoop on one side then the performer (without touching the ground) seemed to bob in the air up through the top hoop on the other side.
A large troupe of girls performed many impressive stunts with a teeter board, the most impressive of which was catapulting a two person stack so that one of the girls landed on a two person stack & the other on top of a tower of three people.
There was one act I wanted to see more than any other in this show. A certain Viktor Kee was the main juggler & for me the main attraction of the whole show. On stage Viktor is a really big man, he has the physique of a genetically engineered superhuman in a sci-fi film, this image is enhanced by the fact that he appears to be only wearing body paint. The amount of power he puts into moving his frame so fast & so fluidly is formidable. His whole body twists & turns in wild serpentine arcs & swoops. No other juggler I have ever seen has put so much energy into creating their presence on stage. He creates an entirely non human creature, at first curious for the juggling balls presented to him from above, then playing inside their patterns like an excited child. He juggled some really nice patterns throwing multiplexes with his shins while writhing on his back on the floor, head rolls, a five ball shower amongst many other things. What he juggled was not important though, how he did it was amazing. I can only wish to physically move in that way. After all this he finished with a solid long run of seven balls. A wonderful dropless performance.
I loved this show, all the usual vividly coloured characters, the incidental touches in the background & superb choreography that I have come to expect from the company. Viktor Kee's routine in particular is an act that every juggler should see. I felt the ending was flat when compared to Quidam & Saltimbanco's spectacular finales. However, the show was still full of surprises & had many very strong acts. Another show well worth seeing.
Other shows I have seen by Cirque Du Soleil:
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