Cirque du Soleil coming to Prague's O2 Arena

The Canadian contemporary circus troupe will perform Varekai

The masters of modern circus, Cirque du Soleil, will be coming to Prague's O2 Arena from May 19 to 21, 2017. Tickets are already on sale.

Canada-based Cirque du Soleil will be presenting their show called Varekai, Tales of the Forest. The show is not new. It premiered in 2002 in Montreal. The title is in the Roma language and means “wherever.” The show is called an “acrobatic tribute to the nomadic soul.”

The large show uses some 50 performers on set that has a forest of some 330 trees that rise up to 10.5 meters plus a catwalk and a lookout. The stage has five trap doors and two turntables.

The show begins with a reimagining of the myth of Icarus. Instead of the man who made his own wings plunging into the sea, he lands safely in a forest called Varekai. This leads to a series of set pieces that show off the skills of the performers. One notable section is Georgian Dance, incorporating elements of dance from the Caucasus Mountains. Other sections include aerial tricks, synchronized acrobatics, simulated skating and a Russian swing, which uses fixed bars instead of ropes. The show has evolved over time and some set pieces have been retired as new ones are added. The show may change again before the 2017 season.

The description emphasizes the magical qualities. “Deep within a forest atop a volcano exists an extraordinary world, where anything is possible: Varekai … From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story begins. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered,” the Cirque du Soliel website states.

The show has had mostly good reviews. “The acrobatic feats provoke a nail-biting awe and the clowning is mostly funny (if, perhaps, a tad lengthy at times). But more than other Cirque shows … the plot asserts itself in a meaningful way,” The Globe and Mail of Toronto said in 2015.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette also had praise. “From the booming musical bass that can rattle your seat to the floating fireflies, Varekai never ceases to amaze in its own jaw-dropping and magical flight of fantasy that's definitely a must-see,” the newspaper said.

Cirque du Soleil is the largest theatrical producer in the world, and is based in Montreal, Canada. It was founded in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix. The group was one of the pioneers of contemporary circus, or nouveau cirque, which stresses stories and characters, and does not use animals.

The troupe also performs several other shows at the same time. Beatles Love, Zarkana and Michael Jackson One are currently among many performances resident in Las Vegas. Joyá has been in Mexico City since 2014, and Paramour has been in a theater in New York since April 2016. There are also several active touring shows for tents and arenas.

Cirque du Soleil

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