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Cirque Du Soleil's Greek Mythology Rewrite

Jack Morgan
Cirque Du Soleil's Varekai set

Cirque du Soleil is performing at the Freeman Coliseum. I was able to meet publicist Vanessa Napoli for a backstage look. She told me that Cirque employs several traveling acrobatic troupes, but this one has an edge.

“It’s very different from any of our other shows. First of all it’s loosely based on the Greek mythology of Icarus, but in Varekai [he] lands in a beautiful enchanted forest.”

In mythology the wax holding together Icarus’s wings melted by the heat of the sun, and he fell to his death.

“Yes, in Greek mythology. Not in Varekai. In Varekai he gets a new chance at life."

While the show of often gravity-defying acrobatics, it's not all acrobatics.

“Varekai also features musicians. So yes, we have a nine-piece band. Seven musicians and two singers, which are a very important part of the show.”

The set is dramatic and soaring.

“There’s 330 bamboo poles that represent the forest. It’s very intricate; it takes about 16 hours to set up. And we do that with about a hundred people.”

She describes the experience of seeing Varekai this way.

“For me it was kind of like a live dream. You feel like you escape out of reality, and watching these amazing people do unreal things right before your eyes.  And it all seems unbelievable but it’s quite real because they’re real people. And it feels kinda like a dream that you’re watching.”

We’ve more on Cirque here.


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii