Monday, February 08, 2010

Cirque unto the Second Generation

I’m a huge Cirque du Soleil junkie. Other people think of Las Vegas as the destination for gambling, partying, and bachelor parties. I think of the city as the Cirque Mecca, with six standing shows and more in development. If I ever get to visit Montreal, I will find a way to sneak into their headquarters.

(Disclosure: Until this week, when I received a pair of free tickets for opening night of their San Jose run through the Silicon Valley Moms Blog, I have always used my own money to purchase tickets, DVDs, and CDs. I have no other relationship with Cirque other than being a rabid fan and wistfully browsing through their job openings. Sadly, I have none of their in-demand skills, such as high dive or trampoline, so I await their casting call for vintage ballroom dancers.)

I love the Cirque combination of art, music, athletics, and a killer production delivery. Plus, the geeky party of me loves imagining how they run the logistics of hundreds of people and dozens of truckloads of material on the road for years of touring.

When we saw the light-hearted promo video for their new creation, OVO, it seemed the perfect show to take Q-ster for his first big theater event. We took him back in December, when the Cirque opened in San Francisco, and the little dude had a magical experience. We loved the costumes, the playfulness.

The acts were extraordinarily creative. For instance, banquine (acrobatics) on a platform way up high between two trapezes. Tumbletrack/trampoline combined with a climbing wall. Really cool stuff. The in-between-acts choreography was a little weak for Cirque standards, but the acts themselves were better than we’ve seen in a few shows. Q-ster liked the” ants,” who balanced big slices of kiwi fruit (as well as each other!) with their feet and especially enjoyed the crickets, who bounced off the trampoline and clung to the giant climbing wall.

We went to the park the next day, where he re-enacted the crickets routine.

Q-ster also drew a picture and carefully depicted each insect/acrobat in the show. He asked me how to spell “Cirque du Soleil” (“That’s a weird spelling, mom.”) and I took a picture of him holding it up, thinking I could send it as fan mail. I didn’t have much luck finding an address or email, so I set it aside, thinking I’d get to it later.

Then we got the note about tickets available from Silicon Valley Moms Blog. (Yes, the market is big enough here in the Bay Area that they pack up the whole darn tent and move 45 miles down the peninsula to run for another two months. I think they like to winter in California. ) SwingDaddy and I had to fib and say that we were going out to see Avatar, because Q-ster would have been sad to miss the show, but it didn’t start until after bedtime, a sure recipe for preschooler meltdowns.

I brought the photo of him with his artwork and took it to the Big Top. “Is there a place for fan mail?” The employee assured me that he’d take care of it. And three days later, we received this email.

Thank you, little Q-ster, for the wonderful photo with the drawing you made!
We are happy you liked our show.

We hung the photo in our artistic tent for all the artists to see!

Have a wonderful day!

Marjon van Grunsven,
Artistic Director
Cirque du Soleil

If they hadn’t already, they totally won my heart. The artistic director wrote him back! I like to imagine that the acrobats looked at the picture and figured out which one sketch represented themselves. Yay, Cirque!

OVO plays in San Jose for February and March. Special Valentine's day offer from SVMB: Buy one ticket get one free.


Linsey K / Krolik Legal said...

That is so incredibly cool! What a treat for your son...and for the performers, I'm sure. Yes, it was a fantastic show. We watched some of the behind the scenes YouTube videos with the kids and it was really cool to see the performers doing their acts in the sweatpants. Yes, they are REAL people...even though they look like they are from another world on stage.

Bob said...

I like the cricket's design. They sure put a lot of effort into their stage and costume designs. We were blown away by "Love" due to the good Beatles' music on top of the staging and costume and props.
Q-ster got a good drawing. The photo with him holding his painting is better than just giving Cirque just the painting(adds the personal touch).

Asianmommy said... adorable. I love Cirque du Soleil. "O" & "Mystere" were fantastic.

Anonymous said...

I have only seen one Cirque show, in Las Vegas 6 days before my first daughter was born. It was SO good she had to come out early to see it! ;)

That is super-cool that they wrote back. I am very impressed, that would win my heart, too.

mayberry said...

That is adorable!! I love his picture, and how sweet for them to respond so quickly.

It's been ages since I've seen a Cirque show. That's about the only reason I'd ever want to go to Vegas.

The Peltons said...

That is so sweet, great picture and what a great response. It was my first show and I absolutely loved it. Really want to take the kids, now.