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Dance Wed Jul 06 2011

A Bug's Life

spiders.jpg

Spiders, OSA Images
Costume credit : Liz Vandal © 2009 Cirque du Soleil

I'm not sure when it happened, but eventually I couldn't even fathom touching them. I'm talking about bugs, of various shapes and sizes and kinds. When I first transferred to public school, I spent my recess time alone, crouched behind the tall trees and bushes of my elementary school. I collected samples -- of leaves, of dirty, of bugs -- as a means of examination and exploration. The minuscule became monumental.

In their latest production, OVO (written and directed by Deborah Colker), Cirque du Soleil employs this same idea. Bugs are the focus and after viewing the fantastical and lovely performance, one can't help but wonder why this sort of focus -- on multiple spindly legs and corporeal manipulation -- is just now being used as thematic source.

Bugs are perhaps one of the only animals (besides humans) that are visually dissected by their parts. Spiders and centipedes are as much their legs as they are whole beings. We consider their parts for the whole, synecdoche with some of the smallest members of the animal kingdom. Broken down, these limbs excel as poetic influence for its dance-heavy choreography.

Despite its heavy dance influence, OVO is Cirque du Soleil's most explicitly kid-friendly show. Costumes are bright and playful. The clowns are cheery and a sweet, romantic storyline underlines the other theatrical show-stoppers (the tightrope, the trapeze, the trampoline work). Like most Cirque du Soleil shows, the audience will leave satisfied if not pleasantly surprised by the heart, which defines this compact set of performances.

OVO runs through August 21. Tickets may be purchased online.

 
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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »

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A/C is the arts and culture section of Gapers Block, covering the many forms of expression on display in Chicago. More...
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