Friday, May 30, 2014

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL PRESENTS "VAREKAI"




 At night in the forest, the woodland creatures come alive, with glittering eyes and wings ready to take flight, as crickets crackle and insects hum.  It is a time of magic and mystery, when everything can happen and you are there to bear witness to the awakenings.  It is Varekai.  It is Cirque du Soleil and all the enchanted elements are poised to capture your imagination.

Varekai is a Romany word, a word of nomads and gypsies, and means "wherever."  This wherever is at the top of a volcano at the site where possibilities are endlessly captivating.  Into this mystical world falls a young man, Icarus, who has traveled too near the sun and is now on the cusp of a grand adventure and you are invited to hold on to his snowy feathers of white and come along on his journey of discovery.

The innocent and fragile Icarus is searching for himself in a strange world.  He is fearful and hurt but he desperately wants to be whole and free and will go to great lengths to reach new heights.  Trapped in a white spider's net that holds him prisoner, Icarus dives and swoops through the air with grace and amazing agility.

He is destined to meet and be exotically attracted to a strange and beautiful creature who will be his guide into a wondrous new world.  He, in turn, will be her catalyst for change and help her with her metamorphosis, as she is his Betrothed. Overseeing this world of nature is a man of much wisdom who has witnessed much change.  To many he is a kindly great-grandfather figure, the Guide, who will lead the inhabitants of his domain to alterations.

Completing this unusual space is a mad scientist/weather man/inventor who experiments in his laboratory, interpreting signs, sounds and wonders.  He is the Skywatcher who predicts troubles before they occur as he uses his genius as a master fortune teller. In addition to these main story players, there are a myriad of performers and entertainers to amaze and astonish from many corners of the globe.

Hold your breath as a daring young woman uses a hoop to sway and swing in a series of incredible and graceful movements, like a ballet in the air.  Watch the power and precision of two aerolists create striking silhoettes, hanging by only two straps, high above the crowds.  From the Republic of Georgia come military-like dancers who parade their power and precision in the traditional style of their ancestors.  Imagine balancing your entire body on a fragile cane or two with grace and flexibility or performing like a disjointed puppet on crutches. 

Take part in Icarian Games where acrobatics are spectacularly achieved as bodies catapult through the air with amazing agility.  Prepare to be entertained as a master juggler, Octavio Alegria, balances everything from hats, balls and bowling pins, on every extremity of his body. Follow the astounding Russian Swings as acrobats soar in midair, only to alight on a partner, a canvas ramp or on another swing. The circus comes alive as an ice skating rink as performers skate and slide in a rainbow of color on a Slippery Surface. What would Cirque du Soleil be without at least one pair of silly clowns, in this case Joanna and Steven, as they inspire laughter and joy.

For all this fun and amazement come to the Webster Bank Arena, 600 Main Street at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport from Wednesday, June 4 to Sunday, June 8 for performances at  7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.
For tickets ($35-145), call  800-745-3000  or go online to www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/varekai/tickets/bridgeport or Ticketmaster.com.

Cirque du Soleil began humbly enough in Quebec in 1982 when a small troupe of jugglers and stilt walkers took to the sidewalks to perform for the crowds.  Today it is international in scope, boasting more than two dozen distinctly different shows, that entertain and astonish millions each year, from England and France to Japan and China.

For family adventure of spectacular style, let Cirque du Soleil's troupe of performers soar and tumble, dance and clown, all for your amusement.

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