Thursday, September 25, 2008

This was pretty cool.

I went to the Cirque Du Soleil show Corteo last night, and it confirmed for me something I have long suspected. Ballet and gymnastics can actually be entertaining! I watch gymnastics on TV, like in the Olympics, and I'm suitably impressed with what the first guy can do. But then, as the forty-eight competitors who follow do the exact same thing, I remain impressed but I become quickly bored. With ballet, there are occasional moments where something cool happens - like a guy throws a girl across the stage through the air. But the rest of the time is spent putting their arms in pretty positions, and pointing their toes. Neat. But again, I'm bored eleven seconds in. Cirque Du Soleil seems to have seen these things and taken the next logical step. Gymnastics shouldn't be a competition, it should be entertaining. And ballet shouldn't be pretty and twirly so much as it should be death-defying.

And both of these elements come together in a show that is truly amazing. All kinds of amazing athletic gymnasts - hot chicks gyrating on chandeliers and buff muscular dudes doing cool stuff in giant hula hoops - and stunts that actually do defy death. I have always resisted Cirque Du Soleil, for a few reasons. First of all, I disliked listening to their music over and over when I worked at CD Warehouse with a girl who insisted upon putting it on our CD player every day. It's music that really needs context - like, it would be cool to listen to it if you were watching a hot babe do an impressive high-wire act. But it doesn't work so much when you're walking around a store shopping. And secondly, I have always disliked both gymnastics and ballet, and Cirque Du Soleil really looked to be an irritating combination of both.

But no. Not irritating. I've always hated the Andrew Lloyd Webers of the world and their pop-classical garbage. It just feels like pandering and slickly produced dreck. Which it is. But it appeals to the masses, Weber makes buttloads of money, and I steer clear of the Phantom Of the Opera soundtrack at all times. Cirque Du Soleil does the same thing, but when it comes to ballet and gymnastics, slick dreck is exactly what they need. And it isn't pandering, it's merely taking the logical next step to make these things actually worth watching. And what amazed me about the first Cirque Du Soleil experience I have had was more than just the show itself, which is of course incredible. And it's more than just the inventiveness of the performance - whoever comes up with these scenarios and props is a genius of some kind. But more than that, it's the atmosphere around the show. Jugglers and stilt-walkers and dozens of friendly people offering free plates of food and eclairs and chicken burgers. A woman on stilts handed my girlfriend a flower when we walked in, and a young woman in angel wings handed me a chicken burger. Now that's service! Another woman took our picture, which we could then download and purchase moments later if we so chose. Dozens of friendly people who were most hostpitable and really added to the whole atmosphere in a very classy way. Go see Corteo if you get a chance.

1 comment:

  1. you should call your girlfriend your fiance from now on, you already forgot that you are engaged????
    Oh what a tangle web we weave, lol.