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October 20, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 42
 
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Delirium takes Cirque du Soleil into an Experimental New Direction
Delirium takes Cirque du Soleil into an Experimental New Direction
by E. Joyce Glasgow - SGN A&E Writer

"Delirium", Cirque du Soleil
Created by Michel Lemieux & Victor Pilon
October 3rd & 4th, Key Arena, Seattle


This was my second time seeing "Delirium". The first was near the beginning of the tour back in February. The amount of work that has gone into this amazingly high-tech production is commendable. My companion called it "overwhelming" and it really is. The ways that large, wild, creative ideas can be manifested with the use of sophisticated high-technology is awe-inspiring. Cirque du Soleil features the fine tuned acrobats we've come to expect from one of their productions along with great musicians and dancers. At this point, I'd have to say, that I much prefer their lovely, sweet, intimate, in-the-round, colorful, human-scale circus productions more than this larger, louder, more impersonal arena extravaganza.

The key to where this production falls short is in its central focus, which is the "remixed" music from Cirque du Soleil's past seventeen shows. While the music has provided nice background accompaniment for the dynamic visuals of these shows, it does not have the substance or depth to be the core reason for this production. Both times that I've seen "Delirium", I have found the music to be rhythmically lively but melodically mediocre, rambling and rather unmemorable. It is also loud and the newly penned lyrics to go with this instrumental music are impossible to be heard due to high amplification and the cavernous nature of the arena.

The use of incredible lighting, large projection screens, over- the- top costumes and wigs and other beautiful surprises could leave you breathless. This show reminds me of a Herculean sized event one might see performed at the Olympics and I think Cirque du Soleil is doing a brave thing by going out on a limb into an experimental new direction. However, I also saw "Varekai", their more traditional Cirque show this past summer in Seattle and I really loved it much more than "Delirium" for its numerous, stunning acrobatic performances, the costumes, the magic, the delight, the intimacy, the heart and the accessibility of that show, all hallmarks of what has made Cirque du Soleil so beloved around the world.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil visit: www.cirquedusoleil.com.

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