I’ve seen 3 Cirque du Soleil shows and they never cease to amaze me. No matter how old you are there is something magical and surreal about a night at the circus and these spectacular productions allow you to escape into a world of make belief and wonder. If you're looking for something unique to do for special occasions, date night or an evening out with friends and family, Cirque du Soleil is something everyone will enjoy.
The scent of fresh popcorn filled the air and the stage was set as crowds spilled in under Toronto's big top. A traditional tent is the best venue for a circus because every seat has a great vantage point and the intimate setting allows performers to interact with the audience.
Volta is like no other Cirque show I’ve seen. Instead of transporting the audience into dream-like fairy tales and fantasy, the show is very tech savvy – a reflection of modern times. The characters snap selfies and hold cell phones through much of the journey as Waz (the main character) relinquishes his fame as a game show host in pursuit of self-discovery and truth. The creators of Volta drew inspiration from the spirit of adventure and action sports which is evident from the thrilling BMX stunts, basketball tricks and roller skating. Even the costumes are different - instead of whimsical fabrics, the clothing is flashy and embellished with glittering gold shards until the grey characters make their way onstage and dull things down with monotone conformity.
Photo Credit: Benot Z. Leroux, Costumes: Zlady @2017 Cirque du Soleil
Photo Credit: Patrice Lamoureux, Costumes: Zlady @2017 Cirque du Soleil
Although the theme is very current, many of the scenes exhibit popular acrobatics rooted in the circuses early history instead of the lavish, death defying feats Cirque Du Soleil is now known for. Performers fly through hoops, jump rope, walk the tightrope, juggle and manoeuvre a unicycle – all very classic skills presented in an urban setting.
The stage is impressive as digital screens aide in the storytelling, bridges descend from the sky and hydraulic ramps rise from the ground to keep you spellbound. The graceful aerial acrobatics is an elegant contrast to the high-paced bike tricks and pantomime comedic breaks that leave the audience in stitches.
The incredibly fast double-dutch routine left me speechless as tumblers did handstand hops and flips at jaw-dropping speeds through spinning rope. I also enjoyed the scene where performers flew through the air attached to billowing bungee cords - soaring and spinning in extraordinary rotations to rhythmic drums. There is a lot to look at onstage (a feast for the senses) as singers belt out harmonious melodies that compliment the story and gymnasts fly through a jungle of multi-level bars.
As expected, the production did offer something new. I have never seen “the hair hang” before which featured an enchantress suspended high above the crowd by her hair! I have no idea how it was done but every spin and levitation left me mesmerized and a little worried about her neck.
Although I appreciate what the story was trying convey, the plot was a bit weak. The finale however was fast paced, and intoxicating – a great way to end the show and a wonderful night out. I highly recommend the premium seating ($145 - $155). I was just 4 rows up from center stage and the view was amazing! Tickets start at just $49.00 to accommodate a variety of budgets and Volta runs until November 26th. For more information visit cirquedusoleil.com.
Photo Credit: Michael Kass, Costumes: Zlady @2017 Cirque du Soleil