Ovo, the new show from Cirque du Soleil, opened to a packed house on Thursday night and once again the Cirque delivered the most unique display of human creativity and athleticism the world has to offer.
The theme of this show is easy to decipher. The world of ants and other insects is brought to the stage in the most spectacular fashion, as the Cirque successfully portrays ‘The Enigma of Life’ through the weird and wonderful humans that make a circus … well, a circus.
The Cirque provides a study of aesthetic. Beauty and taste being two of the most subjective ideologies; and while their successful coupling is not always agreed upon, I imagine most people who have witnessed Ovo will nod decisively at each other in admiration and silent agreement that it is moving art.
Cirque du Soleil has been around for decades simply because it is one of the most beautiful exhibitions of human ability available.
Grown adults ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaaah’ throughout the performance. Not only that but they laughed at the silent clowns’ antics, while those who didn’t were grinning like idiots.
The Cirque drew in a mixed crowd with its moderately priced tickets (the cheapest of which will set you back roughly €54). Arty students, couples, parents with children and the lovely corporates who arrive 16 mins late to their free seats (a little too tipsy considering it’s 7pm) all crowded into the 3Arena.
The opening act is hypnotic. A group of performers dressed as red ants lie on their backs and juggle abnormally large slices of cucumber with their feet in perfect synchronicity. The mesmerising movements capture imaginations, giving you no option but to provide your undivided attention.
Never leaving character, the performers’ facial expressions are all unique and discerning. Even from a distance, the grasshoppers look curious. One of them plays with the floor lights as if they were ‘whack a mole’, as another stares wide-eyed at the main protagonist of the story, a blue bottle fly.
The story is simple and effective. It takes the small, energetic world of insects and places the stranger (the blue bottle), who arrives with an egg strapped to his back, in the middle of their diverse community.
The other creatures take him in and he falls in love with a ladybug. The show revolves around the humorous interactions that follow between them, interspersed with acts based around the theme of Nature.
Many of the acts fall under this overarching theme, but take different angles like: ‘how delicate life is,’ ‘curiosity,’ ‘passion,’ and ‘anger’. One of the standout acts is the acrobatic duo who represent the butterfly, and both fly through the air with death-defying confidence.
Another is the spider who tight-wire walks 4.5 meters above the ground, displaying amazing strength and balance, which culminated with him doing an upside-down unicycle across the wire not once, but twice.
Each act showed a complete mastery in its respective field. A circus that can capture the imagination of adults through such an old art form, their creativity pushes the boundaries of what is possible to be humanly acted out, and the show still continues to surprise. Even the most cynical of us couldn’t say it’s predictable.