Cirque Du Soleil Reviews for Every. Single. Show.
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There are over 25 Cirque du Soleil shows either currently live or coming to the stage soon. Want to choose the one that’s right for you? Read on for a comprehensive list of reviews for every production.
“Cirque du Soleil first presented Alegría in April 1994, a production destined to change the history of the company, an emblematic show that was to win over more than 14 million spectators. Under the traditional Big Top and in its arena version, Alegría visited 255 cities around the world in its 19 years of touring before finally bidding audiences farewell on December 29, 2013 in Antwerp, Belgium.” (BWW News Desk, Broadway World)
“All of the creators working on this new version of Alegria are quick to underline that it will be very different from the original show. They did keep in contact with some of the original creators, notably director Franco Dragone and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, to ensure they don’t lose the core ingredients of the first production. But at the same time, they wanted to make sure it will click with audiences in 2019 and beyond.
For example, it will feature the original score from composer René Dupéré, maybe the most famous music ever produced by the Cirque. It is the Cirque’s bestselling album, and the title song was nominated for a Grammy. This time around, the music has been rearranged by Goncalves, who is a founding member of the bands Plaster and Beast and has served as musical director of the Série Hommage, the tribute Cirque shows presented every summer in Trois-Rivières. His goal was to make the music a little more accessible for today’s audience.” (Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette)
“The show’s writer-director, Diane Paulus, won a Tony for directing the circus-y early 2010s revival of ‘Pippin’; her credits also include ‘Hair’ and ‘Waitress.’ The set design is by her frequent collaborator Scott Pask, and the choreographer is boundary-pushing dance-maker Karole Armitage, also a previous Paulus collaborator.
Theater references make you yawn? No worries. You can cheer instead for ‘Amaluna’s’ female-majority performers — including gymnasts who march through like the Amazons of ‘Wonder Woman’ — as well as an all-female, guitar-rock band.” (Daryl H. Miller, LA Times)
“Ms. Paulus has said that she did not want to create a show with a ‘women’s agenda,’ which is probably a good thing, as any specific message would be hard to decipher amid all the Cirque frippery. But the display of female strength (as in biceps and triceps and quads, oh my) is nonetheless a lovely thing. There are no damsels in distress here, despite the aforementioned pesky lizard man.
Beyond this feminist gloss, is there anything to be said about ‘Amaluna’ that you couldn’t guess? Not really. It may be a new production, but it’s an old formula, a giant machine of a spectacle with (unfortunately tedious) clowning thrown in, and lots of sound and light and quick set changes to keep things moving in a blur. Does this sound like your cup of tea? Well then, get thee to Queens. The big top awaits.” (Claudia La Rocco, New York Times)
“Amaluna is astounding in its thoroughly constructed production. Every detail has been attended to. The cacophony of the all metal girl band is tucked neatly upstage, sirens cantering throughout the theater in the round. Cellos and drums are interspersed into the set, while guitarists and bass players minstrel the scenes. The music seems so simple, yet it seamlessly backs the feats of strength and beauty. The state of the art hydraulic stage as well as the brilliant, functional costumes create a truly magical display.” (Christina Hoth, Broadway World)
“The show featured classic acrobatic disciplines like teeterboard, portage, acrobatic bike, contortion, duo roller skate, aerial rope and slackline. With performances requiring such strenuous physical activities, the director confirms that almost 60 percent of the artists come from a sports background such as gymnastics, acro-sports, diving, martial arts, and synchronized swimming, among others. ‘We also hire professional athletes to work behind the scenes. The cast of BAZZAR is showcasing a full range of different disciplines including Mallakhamb for the first time,’ adds the director.” (Priyanka Chandani, The Asian Age)
“Bazzar does feel like a tentative introduction—the production is humbler in ambition and scale than the company’s more iconic shows such as O, The Beatles Love and Ka, but also more affordable. Performed in an intimate 1,500-seater Big Top tent 62ft high and 135ft in diameter, Bazzar plays out like a slick montage of Cirque’s signature performances—unnerving trapeze acts, energetic pyro routines and dizzying rollerblading.” (Vatsala Chhibber, livemint)
“The brainchild of writer-director Susan Gaudreau, the show is an ode to the Indian marketplace. A large canvas of curated acts, this ambitious, theatrical production is just like how Cirque du Soleil co-founders Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix envisioned it in 1984. But with a few tiny changes to suit the palate of the Indian consumer. The show opened with a protagonist who got the attention of the audience right away with his compelling, curiosity-laden and extremely intimate act. He wove a story about a crown of lights as his ultimate goal, as specific acts followed. The crown is repeatedly stolen from him by artists and the premise is his search for it. The storyline is that simple – but the way it’s told had the audience enthralled.” (Latha Sunadh, Lifestyle Asia)
“‘Corteo,’ Italian for a solemn procession, turns joyous in a celebration of life for the clown Mauro, who either is watching his funeral or dreaming of his funeral. He delights in seeing the various chapters of his life replayed with all the pomp and circumstance of heightened memory. In this case, his memories soar to the heights of the arena’s rafters over and over again, from flying angels and bicycles to aerial acrobatics and floating helium bubbles.
Plenty of breathtaking action happens on or near the stage floor, which sports a labyrinth pattern with a revolving outer ring. Clowns and jugglers romp across the stage, and acrobats vie for the highest heights springing from a teeter-totter, swinging through high bars or balancing on poles or ladders. All are feats of heart-stopping athleticism, fluidity and finesse.” (Diana Nolle, The Gazette)
“Fans of Fellini might recall the funeral sequence from his 1970 film, The Clowns, and there’s more than a touch of the Fellini-esque here, with the costumes depicting the kinds of old-fashioned clowns whose passing Fellini was lamenting. And several surreal moments capture that dream-quality for which the maestro was renowned. A clown walks a tightrope upside down while holding a candelabra, a gaggle of ownerless shoes scampers across the stage.” (Jim Burke, Montreal Gazette)
“Though ‘Corteo’ was filled with 16 amazing acts that ranged from a skit about golf, to juggling, to nerve-wracking acrobatic performances, the artists did not just amaze the audience with their jaw-dropping skills, but they also made the audience feel like part of the show. Whether it was being able to see the audience on the other side, the constant audience interaction throughout the show, or the fact they personalized the show by calling out the Huskers and Omaha, ‘Corteo’ made the audience feel like they were right on stage with the artists.” (Erica Courtney, The Daily Nebraskan)
“Cirque du Soleil’s Crystal is staged on a slick sheet of ice where acrobats and skaters combine to create an amazing entertainment. A spectacular array of chills and charms to thrill and warm the heart, it’s perfect family-friendly fare for this time of year. Plus it’s got the girl-power appeal of Mean Girls meets Frozen meets Wonder Woman.” (John Stoltenberg, DC Metro)
“Each new scene gives the opportunity for amazing displays from a variety of master performers, including world-class skaters and gymnasts. Combining multiple disciplines, they perform incredible synchronized and extreme skating, swinging trapeze, aerial straps, balancing acts, and pole-to-pole leaping, in a variety of gymnastic styles.” (Sheryl Jensen, Duluth News Tribune)
“The two-hour, two-act show is so seamless in its artistry, invention and emotion that one might not guess that it’s the first staged on ice by the French Canadian art circus. In its fusion of acrobatics, ice skating, multimedia projections and often-translucent moving scenery, ‘Crystal’ adds up to far more than ‘Ice Capades: The Next Generation.’Although the floor is frozen, the nimble ensemble moves, twirls, leaps floats and soars across and above the ice with rapturous fluidity.” (Michael Grossberg, The Columbus Dispatch)
“Joya, the new Cirque du Soleil show that opened in Mexico’s Riviera Maya in November, is meeting with rave reviews, with seats virtually sold out for each performance, said Karen Collado, a Joya spokeswoman.
The show, which represents Cirque du Soleil’s first permanent production outside of Las Vegas and Orlando, is also the most intimate show ever produced by the company, featuring just 600 seats in a theater-in-the-round setting. ‘There’s no bad seat in the house,’ said Collado.” (Claudette Covey, Travel Pulse)
“JOYÀ is an innovative theatrical experience, combining culinary and performing arts that engages the audience’s five senses. Drawing on Mexico’s history and heritage, JOYÀ tells the story of an alchemist and his granddaughter embarking on a transformative quest to uncover the secrets of life. Mexico’s culture inspires the entire show, from costumes and set design to the acts included in the production. Unlike any other Cirque du Soleil show, JOYÀ provides a culinary and champagne experience for guests, featuring an inspired menu and the original Moët Champagne Mercier, available exclusively at the Cirque du Soleil Theater.” (Grupo Vidanta, PR Newswire)
“The forces of good and evil wage a long, furious battle over land and sea in ‘KA,’ the latest theatrical extravaganza from Cirque du Soleil, but it’s the power of hydraulics that emerges triumphant in this stylish, technically dazzling entertainment.” (Charles Isherwood, New York Times)
“It includes so many different movement traditions, so many different cultures, so many different kinds of creative forces, so many clever people given all the resources that they could possibly imagine, so much fire, that it would take several viewings to appreciate its many levels.” (Mark Swed, LA Times)
The stage has always been the star at KÀ, a technical marvel that moves and shifts fluidly to form different environments and alignments, an adjustable canvas for the show’s skilled artists. Known as the Sand Cliff Deck, it weighs 80,000 pounds and measures 50 by 25 feet, yet it seems like it’s floating on air when it moves up and down 72 feet and rotates 360 degrees while tilting to angles of up to 100 degrees.” (Brock Radke, Las Vegas Magazine)
“Anyone looking for a relaxing night out would do well to avoid seeing Kooza. The latest Cirque du Soleil show to hit New Zealand’s shores is often an anxiety inducing experience. Petrified gasps regularly ripple through the crowd during the 150 minute show, as some of the world’s best circus performers defy gravity and test the physical limits of their bodies.Yet those who can handle the pressure will experience a captivating, gripping theatrical experience that deftly moves between shock and beauty.” (Ethan Sills, NZ Herald)
“Another high point, figuratively and beyond, was on the tightrope. A man balanced on a chair balanced on a pole balanced on the shoulders of two other men balanced on bicycles wheeling along the rope, which had been strung at a very great height.
You could see their taut flesh quiver with the effort and hear the inhalation of your neighbour’s breath. It was a tense act, pulled off flawlessly – and it wasn’t the only one. Special mention here to the man wearing two-metre high stilts who got catapulted into the air and then landed upright, atop his stilts, after a full body flip.” (Amanda Saxton, Stuff)
“There is a conscious attempt to take circus arts back to their beginning in its direction; Kooza “rekindles the memories and emotions associated with circuses of old, and brings together two century-old circus traditions” according to the programme. The show delivers and then exceeds the standards it sets for itself with two hours of edge-of-the-seat entertainment that had the audience, on several occasions, audibly gasping.” (Arifa Akbar, Independent)
Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities
“It’s the work of a rising Cirque star named Michel Laprise and it is an exquisitely detailed affair, evocative of a Victorian carnival or a collection of sideshow entertainments with a steampunk vibe. If you’re the kind of person who likes clockwork toys, wacky gadgets, old amusement machines, arcades and pianolas, then ‘Kurios will land right in your wheelhouse.” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune)
“Absence of delightful or, depending on your particular phobias, alarming fellows in whiteface wandering around notwithstanding, the company does essentially go back to basics for its latest show. Of course, for this French Canadian entertainment behemoth — this production is its 35th since 1984 — the basics are elaborate: a dazzling parade of acrobats and gymnasts, jelly-limbed contortionists, singers warbling in indecipherable tongues and sets that swamp those of most Broadway shows.” (Charles Isherwood, NY Times)
“There’s nothing quite like “Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities,” the latest big-top show that opened an extended run Thursday at the Portland Expo Center. With its steampunk theme and Victorian-era costumes, the 2-1/2-hour spectacle is a time-machine trip back to the Industrial Revolution, as seen through the eyes of mad scientists, mystics and makers of playful mayhem.” (Grant Butler, Oregon Live)
“Luzia is the rare Cirque show that doesn’t feel like it has any dead weight. A bit featuring a contortionist feels somewhat out of place — though it is impressive to be sure — and the puppetry animal stuff feels like it should be in something more Japanese-influenced (kuroko is the first thing that comes to mind when the thinking about the puppets), but in broad strokes, everything works in harmony.” (Cory Garcia, Houston Press)
“Not everything is quite up to Cirque’s level of sophistication. A football dance is fun but not staged as crisply as it could be. A clowning bit with a beach ball is more theme-park crowd distraction than theater, though clown Fool Koller scores later with a funny bit about dodging the rain that mixes Looney Tunes gags with existential mediation on how the world conspires against us.” (Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel)
“At times, Director Tracie Valdez hasn’t found enough story-line connection for the ensemble performers as they parade on and off in various costumes. Passing flirtations become somewhat stale. As mentioned before, I sometimes missed some fabulous turn for distracting business elsewhere. An example of this was a an Adagio featuring the gorgeous dancing of Kelly Macdonald and three strapping gent partners (Anton Glaskov, Grzegorz Piotr Ros, and the formerly mentioned contortionist Holowenko.) This is the kind of act that makes my heart sing, but I missed some key acrobatic flips.
Similarly, Cylios Pytlak, a marvelous juggler, doesn’t get the right focus or placement his act deserves. But bandleader Sebastien Laurendeau and his band bring it all back for a big-number ‘fiesta’ finale. All is happy, all is fine. The message is ‘unity, family, fiesta.’ Another grand day under the yellow and blue tent.” (Susan Galbraith, DC Theatre Scene)
“The new Cirque du Soleil production, Messi10, is inspired by the talent, success and living legend that is Leo Messi, who so brilliantly exemplifies the spirit and values of the beautiful game. The Argentinian has teamed up with Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and PopArt Music, in association with Sony Music, to make the new show possible, which will be staging its worldwide premiere on October 10 in Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona, with a total of 32 performances between now and November 10.” (FC Barcelona)
“The Messi Cirque du Soleil show is going to tell the story of a young, ambitious man who strives to be the best No. 10 in the world. The performers will trade in a ball, cleats and some freshly cut grass for people soaring through the air while flipping and portraying what Messi does best: leaving the audience speechless.” (Hope Quinonez, The 18)
“Exploring all the elements of his success, the show creates a universe where greatness is found in bouncing back to your feet, no matter how many times you are brought down on your way to achieving the impossible. The cast of 46 performers will take the audience and the fans on a euphoric 90 minute thrill ride that combines breathtaking physical performance with unthinkable poetic wonder, using a rousing soundtrack as a springboard for greatness.” (ArtVoice)
Michael Jackson ONE
“Perhaps the biggest secret behind the show’s success is that Cirque went to great lengths to make sure the production avoids the feel of a tribute show or a nostalgia event. The show doesn’t feature an MJ impersonator – although it does feature an impressive young kid with his own unique dance style, who would’ve been able to go head-to-head and toe-to-toe with Jackson… There are a few welcome throwbacks – for instance, the iconic gravity-defying dance move that everybody associates with ‘Smooth Criminal’ and, of course, Jackson’s Moonwalk. But there are also acrobatic feats, trampoline stunts and other Cirque elements that Jackson never had the chance to explore.” (Benjy Eisen, Rolling Stone)
“‘One’ is a remarkable sonic experience. There are 5,800 speakers installed in the theater, including at least three in every seat, creating an experience that certainly can’t be re-created in arenas. The mixes of the Jackson hits are based on original recordings, but they have been infused by music director Kevin Antunes with theatricality. There are unexpected pauses, mash-ups, stutters, reaches.” (Chris Jones, LA Times)
“Mystere premiered in Las Vegas in 1993. The show has the distinction of being the first one to take Vegas by storm, and now, 25 years later it continues to keep its audiences totally mesmerized.
The vibrant acts in the show have bright musical accompaniment. With a cast of over 65 International Artists, you will be thrilled by the grace and athleticism of Cirque du Soleil’s acrobats, aerialists, dancers, trapeze artists, and many others. Among the array of captivating acts is the two-man Hand-to-Hand performance that demonstrates unbelievable flexibility, stamina, and strength. The company’s exciting bungee cord act will take your breath away as will daring pole climbing, and the trampoline stunts. Humor abounds in the show with the hilarious antics of an jumbo sized baby.” (Marina Kennedy, Broadway World)
“From the Aerial Cube, where a performer effortlessly turns and spins a cube while doing gravity-defying aerial maneuvers, to the Chinese Poles, where artists crawl up and down poles like sprouting vines. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, or more jawdropping, it did.
The show has managed to stay fresh over the years by making minor, and some major, changes. Last year, Mystère introduced a new version of its world-famous Teeterboard Act. The new shorter teeterboard allows more powerful acrobatic sequences and faster paced choreography.” (Nate Eaton, East Idaho News)
“Nothing I’ve seen balances a truly inspiring spectacle with Cirque’s signature sense of whimsy the way ‘O’ does.” (Brock Radke, Las Vegas Sun)
“The concept is so unusual and the staging is so consistently beautiful that it will likely wow audiences more than any other thematic Cirque du Soleil offering.” (Christopher Hoile, Stage-door.com)
“To attend your first Cirque du Soleil show on the Las Vegas Strip is to come to the realization that the only limit to one’s imagination is a closed mind. Never is this more evident than in ‘O,’ the groundbreaking production that’s been taking the ‘Wow!’ factor to new heights (and depths) since the equally groundbreaking Bellagio opened its doors in October 1998. What sets ‘O’ apart from other Cirque productions (or, really, any show anywhere) is how water plays such a vital role in the story—what other theater production’s centerpiece is a 1.5 million-gallon pool that doubles as a stage?” (Matt Jacob, Las Vegas Magazine)
“Ovo, created in Montreal in 2009, is an arena spectacular that delivers huge set pieces with impressive precision, but little heart or soul. Skill levels are astounding, but the performers are so anonymised that it’s impossible to relate to them. This has always been Soleil’s way; the show’s the thing. But the result is oddly fractured.” (Luke Jennings, The Guardian)
“There’s much goofy comedy here, a heavier dose than in most Cirque shows, and folks at the rink seemed to enjoy seeing people falling over themselves, bumping into each other and even engaging in a lengthy comic sword-fencing duel.
But the heart-and-soul of Ovo is the acts and as usual they don’t disappoint. It starts in entertaining fashion with a team of ants — well, performers playing ants — who juggle big kiwis and then eventually begin juggling each other. There’s much poetry in the motion here, from the dragonfly on a twisted plant structure to two butterflies who perform a pas-de-deux on aerial straps.” (Brendan Kelly, Montreal Gazette)
“When it flirts with clownish daftness, which it does too often, Ovo is a pretty mirthless affair, and Cirque du Soleil’s trademark skills now risk feeling slick rather than pulse-quickening. More warmth and wit wouldn’t go amiss. But this is still a celebration of the wonder of movement, and the performers twirl and tumble gloriously.” (Henry Hitchings, Standard)
“Welcome to ‘Paramour,’ or as I like to call it, ‘A.D.H.D.! The Musical.’ The production, which opened on Wednesday at the Lyric Theater, represents the latest attempt by the French Canadian entertainment behemoth Cirque du Soleil to make a big splash in New York. This time the company, having failed to wow the local masses sufficiently with its traditional nouveau-circus spectacles, has decided to splice the time-tested yowza diversions — acrobats and gymnasts and jugglers, oh my! — into a traditional musical, with a plot, characters, show tunes and even a little tap-dancing.” (Charles Isherwood, NY Times)
“For some reason there are scenes that lack any justification, such as when Indigo moves through a series of costume changes that mimic iconic movie posters. As well there is a sort of Seven Brides For Seven Brothers that serves only to introduce the gymnasts. Indeed there seems to have been a bit of over thinking with this story. This is unfortunate because everyone on that stage is bringing their ‘A- Game’ – and they are a formidable collection of talent. In addition, this is a slightly more mature group of performers than some I have seen at other Cirque shows. Their seasoned approach adds to their grace.” (Tulis McCall, New York Theatre Guide)
“Granted, audiences going to a Cirque du Soleil show expect extravagant acrobatics. But the creators of Paramour — tellingly, no writer is credited — seem to have gone out of their way to produce as banal and generic a musical as possible. Featuring atrocious dialogue and forgettable songs, it feels more like a parody than the real thing.
But the creative deficiencies may not matter to those enthralled by the likes of Andrew and Kevin Atherton, identical twin aerialists who soar out into the auditorium and deliver a beautifully choreographed flying routine. And unlike the sequences featured in the same theater’s earlier tenant, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, this one went off without a hitch.” (Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter)
“The new show will begin performances Oct. 24 at the Luxor Hotel, in a 1,500-seat theater that formerly housed both Blue Man Group and the Criss Angel-Cirque collaboration called ‘Believe.’ The show will be forged by a figure from Hollywood — the action-movie director Robert Rodriguez, best known for ‘El Mariachi’ and the ‘Spy Kids’ series of films… With its nod to action blockbusters and graphic novels, ‘R.U.N,’ clearly, is a race for the millennial audience now coming to Vegas in far greater numbers.” (Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune)
“Months in development and still in its larval stages, ‘R.U.N’ is an aggressive departure from Cirque’s proven formula, in Las Vegas and abroad. Stunts are in, acrobats are out. Check the latest list of blockbuster films for the inspiration behind ‘R.U.N.’ This show is Cirque’s clear attempt to create an action-movie experience in a live Las Vegas Strip production.” (John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Beatles: LOVE
“The anniversary show — attended by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and Yoko Ono — introduced a significantly revamped version of “Love.” Dominic Champagne tweaked his script to give it a more coherent narrative arc. The choreography was overhauled, as were the Day-Glo, Pop Art costumes. Both the stage technology and sound system (including more than 6,000 speakers, which had about 7,500 hours on them) were upgraded. And the show’s soundtrack has been remixed, with a few substitutions.” (Allan Kozinn, NY Times)
“LOVE is full of surprises that are so exciting, you don’t know what will occur next. Daring aerial and trapeze acts, acrobatics, trampolining and roller-skating are just some of the incredible elements of the show. The numbers feature absolutely stunning settings like the opulent backdrop of ‘Strawberry Fields,’ the fantastical scene of ‘Octopuses Garden,’ the dramatic set of ‘Within You Without You’ and the rousing locale of ‘Sgt. Pepper.'” (Marina Kennedy, Broadway World)
“With more than 6,000 speakers at the ready, sound designer Jonathan Deans has made the music majestic in spots and intimate in others, toying with the occasional fun gimmick — single words from ‘Come Together’ emanate from the speaker in each audience member’s chair — but never getting carried away with the technical options.
Music showers down from the ceiling — ‘A Day in the Life’ is a powerful example — or swirls around the room and envelops the listener in a manner that no 5.1 system could at home.
Presenting the show in the round — there’s probably not a bad seat in the house — helmer-writer Dominic Champagne has sets, characters, screens and props floating to center stage from every angle.” (Phil Gallo, Variety)
The Land of Fantasy
“Cirque du Soleil has announced its first resident show in China in partnership with Hangzhou Xintiandi Group called Cirque du Soleil 绮幻之境 (The Land of Fantasy). The show will open in mid-2019 in Xintiandi CAZ, in Hangzhou. The new show will be presented in a state-of-the art theatre offering an immersive experience unlike anything on offer elsewhere in the world.
The theatre will host nearly 1,500 spectators and is made up of two sets of revolving bleachers. The audience will therefore be at the very center of the story and offer two, 360 viewing experiences. The theatre also features a 100m-wide mainstage, divided in panels that can be individually controlled to create a variety of configurations. The show will also feature 3D props, video mapping, and trap doors to create a number of illusions and gravity-defying acrobatic acts to disorient the senses.” (Michael Mander, Blooloop)
“Inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight transports you to the world of Pandora in a visually stunning live setting. Experience a storytelling odyssey through a new world of imagination, discovery, and possibility.
Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination. From the Floating Mountains and the Omatikaya Hometree, to the Anurai’s animal sanctuary and the lush jungles where the Tawkami live, video projections immerse the audience in the breathtaking world of Pandora.” (BWW News Desk, Broadway World)
“The astonishing grandeur of the show’s visual and aural components takes center stage, eclipsing the long slow-paced narrative and thematically uniform gymnastic elements. Absent are Cirque du Soleil’s usual daring physical feats on trapeze, tightrope, aerial hoop, high wire, and slack wire; instead we see scenes of initiation and journey, dances, battles, and hunts, choreographed by Tuan Le and Tan Loc, which evoke the rites of ancient primitive tribes.
Those are interspersed with acrobatic performances designed by Germain Guillemot and apropos to the characterization of the long-tailed blue-skinned Na’vi (in fantastic costumes and make-up by Kym Barrett) as agile and cat-like in their movements. The ensemble executes impressive routines of balance, manipulation, and contortion on aerial ropes, silks, and motorized poles (with rigging and acrobatic equipment by Pierre Masse), jumping through a hoop, scaling a mountain, doing handstands, flips, drops, and tumbles, juggling boomerangs, passing a ball of light, and working enormous kites and puppets (designed by Patrick Martel) of creatures that populate the lands and sky.” (Deb Miller, DC Metro)
“Cirque du Soleil certainly brings the spectacle. There’s a giant, skeleton-like acrobatics structure, a mechanised bridge that unfurls into different shapes, stage-level projections of lapping water, plus darting surround sound, all of which adds up to a sensory rush. Behind some giant reeds, a full band rocks it like we’re watching an ’80s stadium-rock tour.
Set and props designer Carl Fillion also does a good job of blending some of the circus standards – like juggling or the Chinese pole – into the colourful overall aesthetic of the production. The transitions between set pieces are smoothly and seamlessly done.
And, of course, there are some truly outstanding circus acts from the multinational ensemble. For that essential, tension-ratcheting combination of virtuoso skill and risk of failure, a towering troupe of mono-cyclists throwing bowls between each other provides one of the biggest buzzes of the night. The production loses momentum in a second half, however, that doesn’t substantially build on such pre-interval showstoppers.” (Tom Wicker, Time Out)
“Totem is ostensibly a representation of evolution and the official blurb tells us the show: ‘follows the human species from original amphibian state to ultimate desire to fly… TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential.’
Unfortunately, there is no clear storyline of imagery that explains how a parade of apes, American Indians, a lecherous (ill-judged and unfunny) Italian tourist, Brazilian surfers, a flamenco dancer, dish-throwing ladies on unicycles and a variety of contortionists, acrobats and aerialists fit into this vision.
There is also no climactic, breathtaking finale which blows the evening out of the water (or primordial soup) and leaves the audience stunned and exhilarated. The show felt a little small, especially for such a large space. A major worry when the ticket prices are conversely high.” (Stefan Kyriazis, Express)
“There are a few jaw-dropping moments in this latest outing— not least the quintet of foot-jugglers who throw small bowls to each other while astride seven-foot high unicycles — but much of this show is dated. The LED effects have an 80s disco vibe to them while the risible clowning is, at its best, frankly basic, rather tedious and about as fun and welcome as anal polyps; at its worst, it exhibits the kind of outdated European stereotypes which wouldn’t look out of place at a UKIP conference.” (Franco Milazzo, Londonist)
“Bim is the ethereal star of ‘Volta,’ the latest jaw-dropping gymnastic pageant from the French Canadian Cirque du Soleil empire. A cautionary tale about a society ruled by shallow spectacle, dominated by cell-phone-toting zombies who move in lock-step and lack all original thought, this bigtop extravaganza never successfully marries its message with its medium. While some of the acts are truly amazing, such as the hanging goddess, the dystopian themes don’t flow naturally from the feel of the piece, an edgy and urban festival of street sports from BMX bikes to roller skating and double dutch masters.” (Karen D’Souza, Mercury News)
“While it returns to the Big Top tradition, “Volta” has a super contemporary feel. It is hip and urban, in its types of performers, its storyline, its costumes, its lighting and its music, which includes live musicians. And it’s really upbeat, with the audience responding frequently and loudly with applause and cheers… The first performers are great — a juggler, Double Dutch rope jumpers and a hoop manipulator. The music is driving and catchy, created by Anthony Gonzalez from the international electronic group M83.
And the final performers are extraordinary. For the first time, Cirque features a troupe of BMX bike riders, who fly and zoom around an on–stage park. The tricks are amazing. And the setup is very cool. Some of the ramps are acrylic so you can see all the action even if a ramp is in front of you. And the stage rotates so everyone gets a good view. The riders are extremely animated, adding to the energy.” (Jodi Duckett, The Morning Call)
“The current version of ‘Zumanity’ feels warm and inclusive and still outrageously sexy, spiked with unexpected thrills among the beautiful allure. It’s one of the more affordable tickets among Cirque’s seven resident productions on the Strip, leading me to believe it may be the most overlooked and underappreciated show of them all…
It’s clear ‘Zumanity’ has found a sweet spot since making some pretty big adjustments in 2015, adding new acts, costume changes from Thierry Mugler, choreography from Yanis Marshall and music from Simon Carpentier. If it’s still categorized simply as the sexy Cirque show, it needs a new label. This is one of the best overall shows on the Strip.” (Brock Radke, Las Vegas Sun)
“Like most Cirque shows, there’s no storyline to follow, but instead 90 minutes of cliched sex-fueled fantasy vignettes. If anything came to mind when you read that, chances are they cover it. Chains and whips, role-playing, bendy twins and sexy dreams are all included. Just sit back, listen to the fantastic music (thanks to a live band that hangs from a platform above the stage) and try not to look too interested in front of your significant other.
The theater is smaller than typical Vegas Cirque shows, but the intimate setting plays well with the theme. Even with the smaller real estate, the performers only require a small bit of it for the sensual stunts. Most consist of flying through the air by either hanging on to something, being wrapped up in something, or being picked up and thrown around. The vertical space is utilized well, making sure there isn’t a bad seat in the house. The rest of the show is rounded out with contortion-like displays and mini comedy segments that break up the sexual tension. The pacing worked well.” (Alex Cocilova, Vegas Bright)
(Cropped image courtesy of TBWABusted via Flickr | CC BY 2.0))