Friday, 18 January 2013

Ovo, Jan 16, 2013 ****1/2

By Cirque du Soleil 
Grand Chapiteau Big Top, Docklands Drive
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: **** 1/2

NB: This is NOT a Herald Sun review. KH.

Cirque du Soleil shows are always gobsmacking because of the exceptional skills of the artists, the visual feast of the set and costumes, and the sensurround of the live music. Ovo is no exception with its parade of thrilling acts.

The Flying Scarabs, a high-flying trapeze act, left me gaping like a lunatic and in fear for their lives as they flew overhead incorporating complex balances into the flying routine. Thank God for the net in this act.

A major the highlight for the audience in this opening night program was Spiderman (Julaiti Ailati), who stood on his head on a slack wire then sent the crowd wild when he followed up by riding a tiny unicycle upside down – also on the slack wire.

The Crickets also had the crowd cheering with their trampo-wall act involving extraordinary acrobatics on long trampolines that send them flying up a climbing wall that becomes littered with creatures clinging by their fingers and toes.

Another high point was Ants, six tiny girls foot-juggling, hilariously, giant slices of kiwi fruit  – and then juggling each other in a novelty Risley act.

The Diabolo can often be the poor cousin in a circus show but Tony Frebourg’s manipulation of four, high-flying diabolos with his acrobatic skills, was a new take on this form.

There was plenty more including the Lady Bug clown (Michelle Matlock) and the Foreigner (Bartholemey Glumineau), a fly whose giant egg, the Ovo of the title, is stolen by bugs at the start and returned to him in the finale.

The clown routines between Master Flipo (Simon Bradbury), Foreigner and Lady Bug are not as physical or as funny as those of previous Cirque clowns.

The insects and murky, jungle like environment, with its Amazonian flora sprouting from the rigging is echoed in the South American flavour of the music.
Ovo has all the elements of the earlier Cirque shows such as Saltimbanco, Varekai, and perhaps this leaves one feeling that we have seen it all before. The design, music, structure, skills, clowns and choreography all look a bit too familiar.

Cirque broke the mould for circus 20 + years ago. Perhaps it is time for them to do it again.

It is amazing how blasé we can become looking at virtuoso circus skill. It’s a bit like looking at fireworks – there is only so much gasping, oohing and aahing that we can handle.

NB: This is NOT a Herald Sun review. KH.

By Kate Herbert

Thursday, January 17, 2013
 Dragonfly of Orvalho (Hand Balancing)

 Ants (Foot juggling and Icarian games)
CHENG Jinna, DONG Mimi, HAN Jing, SU Shan, WANG Shaohua, ZHU Bayou

 Cocoon (Aerial Silk)
Nadine LOUIS

Butterflies (Straps Duo)

 Firefly (Diabolo)


 Flying Scarabs (Flying Act)
Artem BURNUKIN, Alexander GROL, Nina KARTSEVA, Roman KHAYRULLIN, Konstantin KOLBIN,
Maxim KOMLEV, Aleksandr MISCHENKO, Evgeny MITIN, Andrey SHAPIN, Valeri TOMANOV, Sarfabek


Web-Spiders (Contortion)
Svetlana BELOVA, Robyn HOUPT, Nadine LOUIS

Fleas (Acrosport)
Khrystsina MARAZIUK, Elena NEPYTAYEVA, Katherine SMITH, Olga VARCHUK

 Spiderman (Slackwire)

 Secret Love
Simon BRADBURY, Barthelemy GLUMINEAU, Michelle MATLOCK

 Crickets (Trampo-wall)
Roman KARPOVICH, Sébastien LAIFA, Karl L’ECUYER, Ludovic MARTIN, Gary SMITH
 Ladybug: Michelle MATLOCK
Master Flipo: Simon BRADBURY
Foreigner: Barthélémy GLUMINEAU

Musicians ( Cockroaches):
Bandleader, bass, double-bass: Jean-François BEDARD
Drums: Daniel BAEDER
Guitar: Robson CERQUEIRA
Percussions: Cesar FARIAS DA SILVA
Accordion: Amaia IRAOLA JUBURA
Oboe, Flute: Caroline LEMAY
Violin, Guitar: Sébastien SAVARD
Keyboards: Roberto SCHILLING
Singer: Marie-Claude MARCHAND

 CREATORS: Guide - Guy Laliberté;
Writer, Director and Choreographer - Deborah Colker;
Director of Creation - Chantal Tremblay;
Set and props Designer - Gringo Cardia; Costume
Designer - Liz Vandal;
 Composer and Musical Director - Berna Ceppas;
Lighting Designer -
Éric Champoux; Sound Designer - Jonathan Deans;
Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging
Designer - Fred Gérard;
Acrobatic Performance Designer - Philippe Aubertin; Makeup
Designer - Julie Bégin.

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