atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6718: Cirque du Soleil: Volta

Wednesday was Cirque night.

Mrs. Fungus bought the tickets for it--to be honest I'm not sure when it was, now that I think of it. Anyway, a damned long time ago. So when I worked Memorial Day I made sure to ask for June 19 off as my "floater".

Left the bunker at 5:30, expecting the usual rush-hour traffic jam--but this one was stationed at Soldiers Field rather than United Center, and we ended up getting there at 6:18. That was with a stop at McDonald's for food. The site opened at 7:00, the tent opened at 7:15, and showtime was 8.

The GPS tried taking me on a bizarre tangent, but one thing it wanted me to do I could not, which was to go straight after getting off Lake Shore Drive. (Heh. I could not go straight after getting off LSD.) I had the option of turning left or right; and since we'd seen the tent from the off ramp we knew it was very close and to the right, so I went that way.

Parking for Cirque, $25, so I pulled in there--and we were right there, parked within sight of the entrance. I'm not kidding; it wasn't more than about eighty or so feet from where we parked.

The show was amazing, of course. Stunning acts, as always, but this time what really impressed me was the lighting. They're learning how to use LEDs in stage production.

Biggest "wow" of the thing was the woman who was suspended from a wire by her hair. I could not see how they could have attached any harness to her. Just a D ring braided into a bun atop her head--and a crew cut on the back of her head, so there was no wire going down to a body harness. She freely turned her head left and right while being hoisted and there was no weirdness about the face, so there wasn't something wrapped around her head, either.

In fact, at the end of the show she stood on stage right in front of me--we had front-row seats--and I still could not see any evidence of a harness. Just the D ring in the bun.

...the act begins with the lights coming up on her, on stage, sitting in lotus on a cushion. The wire leading up from her head is obvious. And then she just lifts off, still in lotus, and the cushion is drawn backstage by a hidden wire. She goes up and down, sometimes standing--but such that it's obvious that the wire is taking some of her weight--and sometimes floating above the stage.

I still can't figure it out. I'm not sure I want to, though, either. I mean, the human scalp can support body weight (as long as it's a slender female dancer, anyway, not a fat-ass like me) and a good bundle of hair certainly has the tensile strength to do so. And the neck can hold you up without popping, as long as you're ready to take the strain and have trained up to it and don't weigh 300 lbs.

But dang.

The other mystery was one of the clown sequences. Guy doing laundry, and when he tosses his clothes into a washer they pop out of another washer on the other side of the stage. He does it with one of his shoes; then he tries it with the laundry basket.

I don't know if this was schtick, or an accident, but the basket didn't go in--but a basket popped out of the other washer. So he looks at the basket in front of him, and the one by the other washer, and mugs for the audience; and after a bit sets it behind him and casually kicks it backwards, sending it sliding backstage.

Was it on purpose, or a mistake? We don't know. Again, not sure I want to know. Too well-practiced to be an accident, IMHO, and this kind of meta-act is the sort of thing that makes CdS shows so entertaining; but the people in these things are professionals, and they're very good at what they do, so the mugging over the mistake might have been a professional covering his flub in a funny way and making it look as if it were planned.

All told, Volta was worth seeing; but that's true of any Cirque show. I really, really enjoyed it--also true--and the acts were astounding.

Especially that woman with the hair. Jeeze louise.

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