Culture

Varekai transports audiences to a mystical world

Under the Grand Chapiteau of Cirque Du Soleil, audiences are transported to a place of fanciful characters, bright colors, and of course, an interesting story.

Taking residence at Bicentennial Park downtown, Cirque Du Soleil’s traveling show Varekai has dazzled show-goers for the past several weeks. The show, just one of the 13 Cirque shows, is the story of a boy who drops out of the sky into the mysterious world at the top of a volcano. The main character seems a reference to Icarus, the boy who made himself wings and fell from the sky to the ocean, as the character is dressed in white for the duration of the show with his white sparkling wings not too far away.

After the boy falls into Varekai, he embarks on an adventure that is both absurd and eccentric. Set in a bamboo jungle by a volcano, smoke and the sounds of chirping birds and buzzing crickets fill the tent.

The many acts that follow guide both the audience and the boy through his journey of rediscovery. The main characters of the show are the doctor, the unidentified man who seems to play the role of the ringmaster, and the love interest. The doctor, with a crazed three-pointed Mohawk-type hairdo, and the ringmaster help the show move from acrobatic performance to acrobatic performance while entertaining the audience and keeping the story cohesive.

The show’s incredible acts offer a variety of gravity defying and body twisting. The love interest lady of the show displays this incredible control of body by balancing on thin bars several feet off the ground while contorting her body into pretzel-like positions. It’s not the only impressive act by far: dance routines, juggling, and flips appear throughout the show.

One of the best acts involves two men, dressed much like birds, who manage to hold their own body weight mid-air as they swing back and forth while tumbling and showing impressive feats of flexibility and concentration.

The two-and-a-half-hour show is full of entertainment, even in the form of audience involvement. Seemingly out of place however, a nameless man and his bleach-blonde cellulite sidekick present a serenade and mini-magic show in which the audience members are involved through various humorous forms of harassment. A highlight during the magic show occurs when an audience member, usually a male, is dressed up as the sidekick and put through a series of disappearance and reappearance tricks.

Paying tribute to free spirits, this show only proves that Cirque du Soleil is capable of transporting audiences to another world. Whether for its acrobatics or for the whimsical idea of story and song, Varekai is a show worth seeing.

Joanna Davila can be contacted at j.davila@umiami.edu.

February 17, 2006

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The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.