You don’t, ever, need a reason to visit Sevilla other than its own, special magic, but as if that wasn’t enough Maria and I went specifically the other week to see Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo”.
It was seven years or so since I fell deeply under the spell of Cirque. I was in Disney World, Florida, one of my favorite places on earth – Yep. I don’t give a damn about how commercialized or corporate it is, it succeeds in igniting my suspension of disbelief, allows me to forget most of my inhibitions and really relaxes me, which is pretty much what Cirque du Soleil does too.
The resident show in Downtown Disney is “Nouba”, a wacky, dream world of circus meets ballet meets Moulin Rouge meets the Olympics meets opera meets a rock show. I went expecting great Disney entertainment, a circus, with acrobats and stuff, I really had no idea just what Cirque du Soleil was then, but what I got was a mind-expanding, stimulating, sensory feast which covered the whole gamut of entertainment. I left speechless, not knowing what I’d enjoyed more, the circus acts, the music, the costumes or just that sense of having visited a fantasy world. I had this wild dream after that, of following Cirque around the world to see every show. I almost had tickets booked for a show in London, and then reality set in, in the form of, well, being broke. It’s not cheap entertainment, but it is worth every single cent.
I procrastinated about booking tickets for “Corteo” which in the end proved to be a good thing, because my seat, although not next to Maria, who had had the sense to book much earlier, was at the front (I think they’d squeezed in extra seats). I had to put a firm lid on my expectations, so high were they after “Nouba”, but my inner child began to get the better of me when we stepped through the entrance of the big tent and got whiffs of popcorn and hot dogs. Photos aren’t allowed once inside, so I didn’t even take my camera, and that accounts for the fuzzy quality of these photos, sorry.
I took a deep breath as the lights dimmed and the performers entered, not from the stage, but from amongst the audience, instantly building a sense of our participation in their surreal story. It took about two minutes for me to realize that this was going to be an experience equally as stunning as “Nouba”.
“Corteo” is a parallel universe, where people can spin like coins, and phantom shoes march across the stage without being occupied by feet or legs; a world of dwarfs and giants, of pillow fights which spill out into the audience, and pantomime horses steal the show; it’s a world where childhood dreams come true – beds are trampolines and people can float in baskets suspended from helium balloons out over the audience. It’s magic meets musichall meets the Big Top. It’s a world of constant assaults on your senses, where comedy and tragedy are so intertwined as to be inseparable, where the grotesque is beautiful and the impossible can happen, and the soundtrack is – inspiring.
There are so many times in life, more often than not, in fact, when going back, when trying to relive an experience isn’t a good idea, but clearly with Cirque du Soleil that isn’t the case, and I find myself dreaming again of following them around the world!
This has been one of those posts which makes me happy I don’t, as yet (not planned but you never know what’s around the corner) get paid to recommend stuff. I adore Cirque du Soleil, and write about it wholeheartedly because of that and for no other reason than to say “Don’t miss it if one of their shows comes near you!”