Contributed by Tanya S.

I am afraid I am guilty of being that audience member who was speaking during the show.  I found myself saying “Wow!” “Oh, no!” and “Look at that!” throughout the entire performance of Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil.

This was my first experience watching a Cirque du Soleil performance and I didn’t know what to expect.  I had heard it was a circus without animals but I simply expected some contortionists and some music, with maybe some ribbon dancers.  I was unaware of what was about to happen.

A man in a top hat, famed singer Garou, belted out his sad story.  He has lost all of his magical powers because he lost his true love.  If they didn’t explain this to me in the beginning, I am afraid I would be completely unaware of the plot.  Throughout the show, he and his adversaries sang, but I was so mesmerized by the performers I couldn’t hear a word.

It all started with the juggler. A simple type of performance you may have seen before, someone’s got some balls to throw around in the air.  But her performance wasn’t simple. She had 8 balls, bouncing them as she climbed steps, throwing them around the stage, bouncing them in a box.  She wasn’t the only amazing performer.  We had a woman bouncing on a springboard throughout the air.  A set of three men on a high wire jumping rope or jumping on each other shoulders, acrobats swinging across the stage, a couple swinging around with a rope.

There was a group of Chinese acrobats who used no apparatus but themselves who were able to form a three person high tower. They then flipped another woman through the air to reach the summit and grow to four people high.  A man who can balance and contort himself while balancing on one hand.  All the while, there are other performers dressed as clowns who are climbing spider webs or wires in the air in the background.

My favorite act was something I never saw before involving huge hula hoops.  I have seen performers hula 50 hula hoops around thier body, but I never saw anyone in a hula hoop.  The performers were able to roll themselves around the stage like pennies, swirling, spinning and twirling around.

I am amazed by the performances and was bought back to the feeling I had watching the Big Apple Circus.  I cannot wait to see another Cirque du Soleil performance.