Monday, March 13, 2006

Cirque du Soleil Moon Frye

Grace bought us tickets to last night's Cirque du Soleil performance of Delirium at the Toyota Center here in Houston; it was a really good show and a bit of a departure in style from the ones she had taken me to in the past.

The shows I'd seen before were Alegria and Varekai and both of those were set up in a more traditional circus tent atmosphere with small crowds; even the cheap seats (which, as any former Cirque-goer knows, are not that cheap at all) were close enough to the stage for you to be too close for comfort to the gyrating, half-naked male dancers and their megapackages. This show, however, was labeled as more of a music event and apparently demanded the 750,000 square feet of space that only a major city stadium can provide. Our seats were up high in section 423 and gave us a good universal look over the entire performance while providing at least five times the minimally-required distance of viewer/megapackage separation.

The show took place on a long black runway that spanned the entire length of the stadium floor and was flanked on both ends and sides by massively large curtains which had video images displayed on them in time to the music (the semitransparent curtains sometimes were run across the entire length of the runway to overlay the people onstage, pretty effective use really).
I'm not really sure, the change of venue size excepted, how this was more of a music event than other Cirques - they still had all of the bright colors, dancers, and ridiculousy toned and internally-gyroscoped gymnasts to go along with the songs.

About the music, they used both new songs and old ones from other shows and the catch this time around was that they added actual words (in English and other languages) instead of the gibberish language that was in place before (hmm, and i always thought it was just French). Lots of good tribal beats in the mix which were enhanced by the volume and space of the stadium; the whole collection of songs went well with all of the jumping and balancing and hula-hooping and such that took place on the stage. The whole show was something like someone's fever dream; i guess the same could probably be said of most Cirque shows though this one was a little less kooky somehow.

When the curtains were employed it was kind of like a laser-light show with people added, though that's a bit of a bad comparison given my recent experience a few months back with a "Dark Side of the Moon" showing at the local plane*arium. Traditional laser-light shows belong to that category of "things best left remembered fondly in your high-school-age past instead of revisiting them when you're older and sober and can see how old and crappy the screen is and how dated and not-so-far-out the graphics really are".


Steven G. Harms said...

Two words: Laser Footloose.

The Social Bobcat said...

you said it, friend. that episode ran through my head as grace and i sat through the show.

it's true what they say: you can never go back