Cirque du Soleil returns to Tampa this week with Varekai (pronounced ver·ay·’kie). I received two tickets for the opening night purpose for purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
For my first ever Cirque du Soleil performance, I found myself engulfed in a mythical and magical world which has captured millions of spectators for over thirty years. With each explosive fusion of dramatic dance, death defying stunts and acrobatics, Cirque du Soleil Varekai unleashed a menagerie of colors inside Amalie Arena.
As the story goes, deep within a tropical rainforest at the summit of a volcano world, there exists where a great grandfather (Le Guide) watches over the forest while The Skywatcher tries collects and protects the sounds and sights of his precious forest. Our hero, Icarus, falls from the sky and lands in a lush, wondrous world called Varekai. As Icarus embarks on a healing journey, he encounters La Promise (The Bethrothed), who also begins her metamorphous sparked by their love.
In true circus form, the cast of Cirque du Soleil utilizes every inch of Amalie Arena to unfold this dramatic tale. Each scene emerges with incredible choreography and acrobatics which defy the laws of nature. Accompanied by enchanting vocals and a seven piece band, the ensemble builds a beautiful backdrop for the fantastical world of Varekai.
The magical love story is interrupted with brief humorous moments by a comedy duo who resemble Mr. Bean and Rebel Wilson’s infamous Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect. Their silly slapstick antics offered just the right combination of comic relief to the acrobatic melodramatic tale.
The skill and talent of the cast defy the laws of nature; their expertise and finesse makes each pop, twist seem flawless. The choreography of the aerial acts, head balancing, Georgian dancing and synchronized tumbling is simply mind-blowing!
Close to 155 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984 and after witnessing the mesmerizing magic of Varekai, I feel fortunate to have shared this astonishing evening with a few thousand more at Amalie Arena.
Witness the wonder of Cirque du Soleil: Varekai – Tales of the Forest between now and Sunday, August 9 with two performances each day. Ticket prices range from $40 – $115.
Thursday, August 6 at 7:30pm
Friday, August 7 at 4pm and 7:30pm
Saturday, August 8 at 4pm and 7:30pm
Sunday, August 9 at 1:30pm and 5pm
To purchase tickets for Cirque du Soleail Varekai at Amalie Arena or learn about other Cirque du Soleil performances, visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.