my parents took me to see two of their shows when i was little…yea, thats right, i’m cultured as fuck. haters to the left. but really, the music brings back a lot of wonderful memories. after seeing “alegria” as a very small child, which i watched all the way through with absolutely rapt attention, i begged my parents to buy me the soundtrack. for months afterwards i could be found in the living room twirling my heart out to the loudly blasting eccentric music, using the pieces of furniture in the room as a makeshift stage for my acrobatics.
several years later my parents took me to another cirque show, called “varekai.” i remember the show pretty well, but one act in particular really got to me. it opened with the most striking image of a man, suspended in air and slowly falling, illuminated by one great light from above. he was clothed all in white, and had huge white wings strapped to his arms. in my memory, despite falling, his body seemed to move in slow motion, with the loveliest fluidity and precision of motion. after landing, he lay absolutely still, until his wings were stolen from him, and he was wrapped and lifted up again in this great piece of netting. suddenly, the net unfurled, and he was again precariously suspended. very slowly and quite beautifully, he began to furl and unfurl in the net, like some elegant caterpillar writhing in its cocoon, desperate to break free. very quickly, the piece of netting was transformed from a trap into a piece of art which the young man was using to expertly contort and transform his body. all the while, the loveliest, most enchanting song in a language i had never heard tumbled effortlessly from the lips of a strangely costumed soprano who stood below to the side of the stage. i was absolutely mesmerized by the combination of the otherworldly music and the acrobatics of this so-called icarus. my heart soared as he managed to wrap the net around both arms, forming a makeshift pair of wings with which he effortlessly glided through the air. a perfect picture of freedom.
i think it was the way he managed to play out the role of icarus, and move so elegantly and exactly while captured in a great net, furling and unfurling his body in the most passionate unimaginable way, that led little childhood me to fall pretty much head over heels in love with that magical winged acrobat. it was the most beautiful thing i’d ever seen. and to this day his suspended image seared in memory, along with the ever vibrant music, brings the slightest threat of tears to my eyes.
weeks after seeing the show i had developed this little religious way of enjoying my varekai soundtrack. on a rainy day, i’d pop the disk into my oldschool walkman player and curl up in bed with a book, or even sometimes a pen and notebook if i was in the mood to write something. i’d let the sounds of thudding rain and ethereal music from my headphones blend together lull me into the most wonderful creative trance. to understand this strange little routine, one only has to take a listen to the music, and be transported.
but in all seriousness, the music is fantastic. it’s this glorious fusion of jazz, rock, world, and classical. a delicious musical headfuck.
the sudden unearthing of these memories has evidently resurfaced my long lost love for cirque du soleil. and, thanks to the magic of the internet, i managed to stumble on a slew of pictures, music, videos of the performances that absolutely blew my mind as a kid. so i’ll probably be posting a few of those too, to supplement this longwindedasfuck blog post.
i probably should have put this on my writing blog. but ahh fuck it. it matters not. and maybe someone will actually read this.