photo by Denny Wood
As many of us drive down the 75/85 corridor, we see the amusing blue and yellow tents standing outside Atlantic Station. This sight is instantly recognizable as a circus tent, and specifically the trademark coloring of the world renown, Cirque du Soleil, which has a sort of permanent home in Atlanta’s midtown. And this week, the cirque came back to town, for a month and a half of performances of their Ovo show. Of which, I had the good fortune to be invited to attend their pre-opening preview this past Wednesday.
photo by Denny WoodCirque du Soleil is a new interpretation of the Circus, and is not the type of place your parents took you as a child. Cirque du Soleil’s style is to do themed productions focused on a story, and the theme of Ovo is the insect world. The story revolves around a group of bugs and their encounter with an egg. This dramatic convention’s biggest enhancement to the evening’s entertainment is brilliantly colorful costumes. But there’s more to it, remaining true to its circus roots, Ovo focuses on the more exciting elements of the Big Top: the feats of incredible athleticism and coordination. You get to see a firefly do some incredible juggling, a dragonfly perform feats of hand balancing, ants perform feats of tumbling, and butterflies sore gracefully on ropes above your head. The three most compelling pieces were: a single spider on the slackwire; the trapeze act performed by a beetle troupe; and the finale, an incredible trampoline act dominated by grasshoppers, but with more than 25 acrobats leaping, flipping, and bouncing off the walls.
But of equal note is the homage to the true face of the circus: the Clown. Although there are no bright red noses or huge shoes, the story is carried along by three performers acting in the true spirit of clowndom. First is the ringmaster, a multicolored beetle of sorts, who orders folks around. Next, a spiky, quirky, nerdy insect, who falls in love with the final entertainer, a larger and brightly colored lady bug. When these folks were on the stage, it was like watching a cartoon from my childhood, and I have to admit that I chuckled and laughed probably more than I oooed and aahed at the feats of daring. The remarkable thing was that not a word of English was spoken. They conveyed their meanings via motions and action, accentuated by some verbalized gibberish intended to evoke the idea of insects speaking, if they could talk. In probably the funniest moment from the show, they were even able to get three audience members to act in a funny and harmlessly foolish manner which brought roars from the crowd.
So I am telling you all that I am very glad to see the circus come to my town of Atlanta. In interest of full disclosure, I will tell you that they comped my tickets, which aided my enjoyment because of my personal focus on financial utility. As I have mentioned before, I am not poor, but I am frugal, and I am proud of it. The price range for tickets runs from $50 dollars to as high as $230 (the tickets I was given normally run $70 on a Wednesday night), but there are cheaper prices for children under 12 and discounts for weekday shows for students, seniors, and military, which could bring your cost down $5. A simple google search for “Ovo Atlanta Discount” brought up a couple of ways to find discount pricing the day I wrote this. The only other regret is that I wasn’t allowed to photograph anything under the big top, but this is understandable of the inherent danger of some of the feats high above our head. Some of the photos here are not mine but actually provided by a friend of mine, Denny Wood (shot with a Sony Cybershot Pocket Digital H55 - photos 1 & 2). The exterior shots I took didn’t come out well as hers as Wednesday was a dreary, foggy night (and were taken with the Fuji Finepix Z pocket camera).
Watch Video of Cirque Du Soleil’s Ovo
official trailer 1
official trailer 2
Ants Juggling Ants
Canadian Performance of OVO