Last night the Boy and I trekked into DC to watch Corteo, the Cirque Du Soleil show currently playing in DC. Unlike a conventional circus, there are no animals here. Instead it focuses on the beauty and strength of the human form. From your seat you can see the sweat glistening on the trapeze artists face, you can also see them rubbing powder on their arms in between acts….it feels so much more real than the CGI enhanced leaps and bound one sees in the movies.
In Corteo, Mauro the clown dreams about his funeral procession. His friends, lovers and fellow circus workers come together to bid him farewell in a fast paced montage of acts which are visually stunning to say the least. For most parts the dialogue was unintelligible and sounded like Italian, but wikipedia tells me that it was probably Cirquish – an imaginary language. The acts are drawn from various performing and folk arts, blending traditional circus acts (juggling, tight rope walking) with pantomime and ballet. I really liked the little people in the show. Valentyna’s pixie dance where she floats around on helium balloons, alighting on the palms of random audience members only to be sent afloat again was pure joy. On the other hand the Duo Adaggio in which she performed slow acrobatic feats while suspended within a ring along with Grigor was beautifully somber. There were flying beds, dancing horses and a golf ball which refused to be hit. In one of the acts a group of young people jump on beds with wild abandon…a freeze frame of which would probably look like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting, inviting you to join in. And I did want to join in.
We had discount tickets but it did not detract from the viewing experience as the artists move around quickly and this provides everyone in the audience with a good view. Though I should mention that the clowns and Valentyna only visit the expensive seating area and while we are at it, let me also add that the live music rocks. The concessions are pricey but they have water fountains and restrooms all around. The show is two and a half hours long with a thirty minute intermission so if you plan on going, get something to eat before hand. Or else you will have to eat greasy Chinese for dinner, like us. The circus is in town till November 26th and if you have not seen a Cirque Du Soleil show before, grab your favourite person and head to the big top over by the Gallery Place Chinatown Metro station.