Unbelievable, Unreal, Astonishing, beautiful and insane are some of the words that came to mind after watching the incredible company of Cirque Eloize ID at Montecasino last night. The show has travelled here for the second time now and I am so happy I got to attend the opening night in Johannesburg last night. It all goes down at the beautiful Teatro theatre at Montecasino.
I have been to many shows. I have seen a lot of musicals, comedy, dancing and singing. I have seen over the top costumes, incredible sets and huge dance routines. I have watched actors and actresses who are so extremely talented and I have enjoyed every minute of it all. But I have NEVER seen ANYTHING like CIRQUE ELOIZE ID before. This show is so jam-packed with energy that I felt exhausted from just watching it. Watching these performers do what they do is a privilege and I have the utmost respect for them all- and their mothers.
I am pretty certain that these performers possess some sort of magical power that makes them indestructible. The way they move, the way they perform and the tricks that their bodies are able to do are truly incredible. I actually am at a loss of where to start…
The show takes place in an Urban setting and gives off a west side story kind of feel. Throughout the show, there is a story being told. Two groups are battling it out to secure their place in ‘the streets’. There are lovers, rivals and friends. Each section of art, for lack of a better word, has an underlying theme that seems to enhance the story of an Urban city.
What was amazing for me was that these performers did not need any ‘glitter’ to make it all work and come together. Their tricks were out of this world but the way they interacted with the audience was real and raw and I felt like I got to see each performer’s personality. Often when there are many performers on stage the audience get a broad idea of the story, in this show, I felt like each performer was showing me his or her skills. I can not juggle half as well as the juggler but I felt like he drew me in so deeply that I completely connected with him.
There really was nothing complicated on stage or on their performers. On the stage was a tower of boxes- that was it- but the way these boxes were transformed to suit each piece in the show was amazing. Digital graphics were used to set the scene and give the stage a unique background and different levels and openings were used to aid the performers. The ‘box towers’ magical changed from apartment blocks to beautiful backgrounds to a trampoline! It was truly genius.
Each performer had a different talent and it was shown off so beautifully. I felt like everyone had a chance to show the audience what they can do and each act was amazing. No one outshined anyone and there was no sense of who is better than who. I want to say this was largely due to the choreography and the gap fillers in the show. The way that the other performers were choreographed while the main act was performing was so well done. They helped show the audience what was going on when the stage got very busy at times. There was always a supporting performer on stage to help jolt your eye to the correct place or explain what the main performer was actually doing.
There were so many outstanding acts that it is so difficult to choose ones that I loved more than others. I loved the hip-hop element to it and the acrobatics were insane. The way these people fly through the air is truly amazing. Juggling is always a fun thing to watch and the contortionist was awesome to watch. How she gets her legs all the way over her head like that I will never know- and that’s ok because I just want to enjoy it. The skipping section is so energetic and the aerialists were amazing. The chair balancing piece made me cringe in the best way.
What made the whole night even more exciting was that I got to meet some of the performers after the show. This was a wonderful moment because it reminded me that they are still just people. I watched these incredible artists leave their lives on the stage- literally- and then I got to speak to them like humans do. It was a wonderful contrast that really put the entire experience into perspective.
The show is running until the 24th December at Montecasino. If you want to treat yourself and someone special to an amazing experience, this is it! GO GO GO!!!