Cirque du Soleil’s OVO takes stage

Cirque du Soleil unveiled their newest show, Ovo, Nov. 4 under the Grand Chapiteau tent at Atlantic Station. It was a truly unforgettable experience. This show presents a magnified look into the breathtaking world of insects, featuring everything including ants, grasshoppers, spiders and butterflies.
For those of you unfamiliar with Cirque du Soleil, this progressive Canadian performing troupe mixes elements of circus arts and street entertainment to produce magnificent results. The absence of performing animals allows them to focus instead on character-driven narratives portrayed through continuous live music and talented performing artists.
Ovo, which means egg in Portuguese, throws the audience into a close-up look at the lives of various insects as they simultaneously eat, fight, play and look for potential mates. A central theme of the show is the mysterious egg that opens and ends the show, representing the continuous cycle of life that these insects are all a part of.
Even before the show started, artists wearing bizarre bee-keeper costumes began to pull the audience into the world of the insects by walking around the tent and interacting with the crowd. They carried very realistic props such as large butterflies on a string. This transition was further developed when two of the artists crept onstage in full insect costumes.
Their mannerisms were representative of how you would expect insects to interact, and it was a good precursor to the overall show.
Once the performance started, it was a nonstop display of amazing stunts punctuated by brief periods of comedic relief. The main storyline was the arrival of a huge egg in the world of insects and the insects’ subsequent efforts to explore and obtain the coveted egg.
A side story line was the love story between a voluptuous ladybug and a goofy fly named Foreigner. Combined with the insect-leader, a beetle named Flipo, this trio of clowns provided plenty of laughs throughout the show.
“The show was definitely sillier than last year’s Kooza, which had a more serious overtone,” said Aimee Williams, an AE PhD student. Her opinion was widely shared by the audience, as laughter was in no short supply under the Grand Chapiteau tent.
Despite being funny, Ovo did not sacrifice when it came to stunts. The performers moved effortlessly in ways that do not seem humanly possible. Every single stunt was incredible, especially when you take into consideration that the artists are doing all these remarkable stunts while wearing elaborate costumes.
Lovestruck butterflies twirled in midair from long drapes, ants gathered food with their feet using precision juggling, a dragonfly balanced precariously on a slender stalk, a firefly performed impossible juggling acts, scarabs performed a flying trapeze act, a spider defied gravity by balancing on a moving wire and grasshoppers jumped and walked straight up an 24-foot vertical wall without any support. The list goes on and on, and each act was done impeccably by trained artists who knew what they were doing.
In addition to the astounding stunts, there was also continuous live music, which is impressive for any show.
The music was uplifting Brazilian music. This makes sense since the choreographer and creator of the show, Deborah Colker, is from Brazil. The lively music promoted the overall feel-good vibe of Ovo; it is definitely meant to be a celebration of life at one of its simplest forms.
Also worthy of mention was the incredible set design. Tall dandelion stalks provided space for artists to elevate themselves. Huge flower bulbs hung from the ceiling, periodically blooming into beautiful flowers that added to the overall aesthetic appeal of the show. The costumes themselves were impeccably made; accurately evoking real insects in a way that made the audience feel as if they were truly immersed in an insect ecosystem.
Ovo certainly does not disappoint as the newest addition to Cirque du Soleil’s impressive repertoire of shows. It is a visual masterpiece that must be seen to be believed. Because of its light-hearted nature and hilarious comedic antics, it is family friendly and everyone should go.

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