Cirque du Soleil, Corteo. If you’ve never been, go. If it’s been a while, do it again. Our little family attended a show a couple of nights ago and we were all enthralled. We had great seats, in the second row, mid-stage, although it seems every seat was probably decent considering it’s a round circus tent. We watched the entire show with our mouths hanging open, leaving us with a powerful thirst by show’s end and a slight taste of rosin in our throats.
The music was grand–a mixture of Italian-style opera, sexy-gypsy and New Orlean’s-funeral-style brass marching band. The story was simple (clown dreams about his funeral), and it had the carnival atmosphere of absurdity that one would expect of a clown dream, but just watching the players perform these incredible feats of strength, agility and acrobatics was mind blowing! Jugglers, tight-rope walkers, lingerie-clad beauties spinning about on glamorous chandeliers, beds as trampolines (Fun with a capitol F!), people spread-eagled in giant metal hoops rolling around stage, burly men tossing lithe trapeze vixens through the air to each other like (white billowing gauzy pant wearing) longshoremen, a zero body-fat muscle-oso swinging in the air from his partner’s gorgeous long black hair(!), more dancers and prancers, and the always drifting in huge kinda creepy, yet very classy Pagliacci-type White Clown, who also walked across the stage upside down on the underside of a tightrope carrying a candelabra!
But of all the colorful, magical acts and powerful athletics tumbling before us that night, my favorite, that hushed the crowd and filled me with sheer delight, and my 27-year old son with delirious giggles, was the Clowness, a very petite little lady, (Joe heard her speaking in Russian when she was just barely off-stage and made out “I may be small, but I’m beautiful!”) maybe three feet tall and perfectly proportioned, (whom also proved to be very bendy later on in the show) suspended in a harness attached to five helium filled balloons, each about five feet in diameter. She was pushed out over the audience singing out “la la la” in a happy little Munchkin voice (really, there is no other way to describe it) and tiptoeing across our eagerly outstretched hands, like a beach ball at a concert. Everyone was straining to be one of the lucky few who touched one of her wee feet, like we would be blessed from coming into contact with her physical charm. Joe was the last one to push her back onto the stage from our side of the tent. He seems pretty blessed, too, now that I think about it. As were we all just from having her float so softly over our heads, her lilting laugh showering us like buttercups on a summer day.