I love experiencing Cirque du Soleil for the “circus” of it as well as the humor and music. Presently, the show Zarkana, created by Francois Girard, is being performed at Radio City Music Hall and for their final season in NYC. After their limited engagement through September 2 they will take up permanent residency at ARIA Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
A permanent home lends for not thinking about limitations on height are other temporary aspects. When I called Radio City to ask for the running time I was told that it would be 2 hours and 15 minutes with one 15 minute intermission. Yet, it was about an hour and a half with no intermission. I think that the information was about last year’s show.
Back to the performance. They describe it as “an acrobatic spectacle that blends circus arts with the surreal to create a world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the bizarre. Zarkana is a visual vortex set in a slightly twisted fantasy universe where in which a cast of more than 75 international artists transports the audience into a fantastical and suspenseful world, blurring the boundaries between the real and imaginary.”
Within Cirque du Soleil you will find that there are two “casts”. One is the actual circus performers and the other is the “clowns” that first walk about the audience and do their thing in between the acts. There are times that they will do “circus moves” and even a magic act as well. Zarkana’s “clowns” were dressed in some bizarre outfits.
Now, aside from the acts, clowns and what appeared to be live music and singing throughout (I’m not sure about some of the times), there was the background digital (shows are going for digital these days…probably easier than painting backdrops). One time there was a background of snakes and another, a background of eye balls.
Onto the show. The stars, or master and mistress of ceremony were Christian Goguen and Meetu Chilana. I wish the songs were in English. As good as their singing was I had absolutely no idea what they were singing about.
Maria Choodu juggled her balls…lots of them. Victoria Dvoretskaya and Dmitry Dvoretskiy did this thing was ladders…like a “look what I can do in balancing and strength”. Flags followed…Frederico Pisapia Giuseppe Schiavo, Vincenzo Schiavo and Marco Senatore…tossing. Russian Bar spotlighted Carole Demers’s acrobatics on a flexible bar held by Johnny Gasser and Yuri Kreer. There’s always a high wire act and this one featured Pedro Carillo and Luis Acosta. That was followed by Cyr Wheel and Aerial Hoops. Hanging from the rafters. One thing that was employed in the background were images of the acts as if there were more artists doing the same thing.
Sand Painting by Erika Chen…now that was impressive with wonderful images. Funny…I just saw someone on America’s Got Talent do that. Trapeze was next…it’s all about timing! Carlos Marin and Junior Delgado performed “The Wheel of Death”. One of the two seemed to have some problems.
Anatoly Zalevskiy did a bit of contorting hand balancing and the show ended with “Banquine” artists lifting one another on their shoulders and throwing the female acrobats into the air.
There was a writer sitting next to that had not seen a Cirque Du Soleil live performance. He was totally impressed and one of the better ones if you’re a “virgin” at this. I don’t feel that it’s a “must see” but if you can get half price tix then it’s fine. Check it out on www.cirquedusoleil .com/zarkana.