Cirque du Soleil’s 41st show Volta tells the story of the Grey’s, who dressed in newspaper motif, move to a synchronized beat. This robotic army keeps their faces glued to their cell phones, as if their lives depended on it. Waz, who is part of the grays, seeks fame with his dance moves, but when his hat is removed it exposes his unique blue-feather hair, which in Volta, is mocked. Ashamed of who he is he seeks love and acceptance from others. What he finds is something else. As Waz reconnect with his true self, he stands up for what makes him truly unique?
Though the story line sounds good on paper it doesn’t always hit the mark. What does work is the highflying acts. Highlights include single and double Dutch rope jumping
“Hand To Hand” a duet between a guy on a unicycle and a girl who climbs and does handstands all over him while moving.
“Shape Diving” has performers sending their bodies through an increasingly difficult set of rings stacked on top of one another.
My favorite act centered around a jeanie type girl who hung, twirled, spun and was gravitated by her hair. The BMX finale, highlighted acrobatics on bicycles and seemed more for the 21 and under crowd.
Even the clown did a great job entertaining. His hilarious frustrations at a laundromat was completely relatable.
The gorgeous, cinematic imagery supplied a cityscape with rain special effects as a singer ascended mid-song complete with violin, as a section of the set raised a child’s bicycle appearing to pedal itself, circling the stage under a spotlight.
The electronic music of Volta is written by Anthony Gonzalez from the Grammy-nomiminated M83. With it’s soaring harmonies and live vocals that defy scales the music captivated and enhanced the entire experience.
The stunning costumes echo the themes of alienation and self-realization. Sparkling gold colored dragon scales made up the reality show host’s outfit. As the Grey’s become free they remove their coats, the backs of their shirts have colorful patterns showing their individuality. The fabrics and prints are in vibrant colors.
This performance was one of the first since performer Yann Arnaud plunged 20 feet to his death in Florida after losing his grip on a strap, as audience members and his castmates watched. The routine was had been added after practicing for only two months. Arnaud 38, was a father of two young daughters and a Cirque du Soleil performer for more than 15 years.
Though this show is great for the under 21 crowd, my favorite Cirque show still remains Toruk and Totem.
Cirque du Soleil’s Volta at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum Uniondale, Long Island, until July 1st.
Video by Magda Katz