George V. Reilly

Varekai

Varekai

Three years ago, one of our must-watch shows was Fire Within, a doc­u­men­tary on the making of Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai show. It followed a set of would-be performers in the eight months leading up to the premiere of Varekai, as they train at the Cirque’s school in Montreal, developing potential acts. Some of them make it, some fall by the wayside.

Varekai has been on tour ever since, and it just opened in Seattle. We saw it tonight. Very little of the original show survives; mostly, the aerial strap act with the twins, Kevin and Andrew.

I recommend it. Varekai is a visual spec­tac­u­lar, with all the familiar elements of incredible acrobatics, clown acts, and bizarre costumes.

Two young Chinese boys twirling pots on ropes; hunky twin men on aerial swings; a team of acrobats twirling each other on their feet; a spotlight-loving sleazeball crooner; acrobats hurtling off a giant swing; and a human pretzel of a con­tor­tion­ist. Quite the show.

Someday I have to post the photos that I took of the Zip-Zap circus school performing at the Cavendish mall in Cape Town. Some of the best free en­ter­tain­ment that I’ve ever come across.

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