Unfortunately Cirque du Soleil shows seem to be getting more and more scarce here in Europe, so every single one counts even more and I’m just as glad that I got to see Ovo yesterday.
When it comes to the newer shows, I’m admittedly a bit more skeptical than for the older ones, mostly owed to the fact that information on them is rather elusive and you don’t have much of a chance to gauge them beforehand ever since the Cirque stopped making DVDs. Unfortunately they don’t run as often on arte.tv anymore even, so there you have it. I’m not saying that diving in blindly is a bad thing, but considering the ticket prices it would be nice to walk into this more assuredly beforehand. That’s just me, of course.
As things turned out, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve had the soundtrack for as long as when it came out first and though it’s not my favorite, it helped to finally see how the songs are used in the show. Incidentally they also sound more interesting with those slight variations when played live instead of the sometimes all too clean studio recording. The show itself relies a lot on the colorfulness of the costumes, a huge back screen projection and the lighting design, while it’s otherwise staged pretty simple, the specific bits and bobs for the individual artists’ acts notwithstanding, of course.
Another positive a-ha moment stems from the fact that several of those acts are performances high up such as a flying trapeze number, several variations on rope acts and of course the trampolines in the finale, which adds quite a bit of excitement and awe. The timing is also usually very fast, ramping up the action quickly, which furthers the feeling of something exhilarating going on. What irked me slightly, however, were a few all too obvious dark segments where they were prepping and setting up the necessary safety measures. Other shows manage to sneak that in a bit more elegantly.
That being said, regardless of my minor niggles, it is a very enjoyable experience. There’s a million worse ways to spend two and a half hours in the evening and with those shows being so elusive in these parts, this is even more a matter of a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. So if you get a chance, go, see it!