The traveler takes a dive to explore the underwater world,
which first looks peaceful until he disturbs three cacti relaxing
on the ocean floor. And then, under a luminous red moon, nine artists perform
a stunning Russian swing act. For the first time at Cirque du Soleil, the
two swings are mounted on a turntable so that the audience
can enjoy the performance from all angles. The pushers
demonstrate impeccable timing by flinging their partners up
to 10 meters (33 feet) in the air.
In Mexico, fiestas are joyous, intense rituals during which revelers
party on, sometimes for days on end. Mexicans light up the sky with
fireworks over plazas and public squares every chance they get. During
the nine days of Las Posadas, for instance, hitting piñatas filled
with fruit and nut, filling up on tamales and drinking traditional
ponches or atoles are all good reasons to celebrate with friends,
family… or with complete strangers.
Much more than mere blasts of
energy, fiestas represent a deep emotional release and a source of
renewal that testify to the complex psyche of the Mexican people.
To the rhythm of festive music, a fiesta is in full swing as Russian
Swing artists leap in the air, their costumes taking on stunning
patterns in a majestic, sweeping transformation. The bright patterns
are a loving ode to the embroidered textile fabrics created by the
the Russian Swing to Cirque du Soleil in a similar form as Varekai’s –
with flyers routinely vaulting between the swings in ever more
difficult routines – but with less gusto.
It’s only natural to want a rousing, energetic act to close out your
show. It brings the audience to their feet, clapping and gasping and
generally having a grand old time. The Russian Swings here weren’t as
strong as I would have hoped, unfortunately. Yes, it is thrilling to
see acrobats vault from swing-to-swing, or even fly high into the air
to flip and spin their bodies in an ever-dizzying array of twists, but
the energy just wasn’t there. Perhaps it was the choreography. Perhaps
it was the music. The music starts, stops, speeds up, gets slower, and
then simply ends. It’s a muddled mess of tempos and themes that does
not work hard enough to compliment the action on stage. I find this
more than a little disappointing because Russian Swings could be –
should be – a rip-roaring and inspiring conclusion to your show! But
here it simply exists. It’s a good act don’t get me wrong, but it
needs a little more oomph. Alas, even the creators had trouble with
this one I hear: the piece of music we heard during our performances
was at least the third one they’ve tried thus far!