For an afternoon, Yelpers got to watch crickets up close and personal.
Crickets? What’s fun about crickets? Well, how about when these crickets are bouncing, flipping, scaling walls, diving off cliffs and doing death-defying, amazing stunts all perfectly choreographed to music? Still unimpressed with crickets?
Ok, truth be told, these aren’t crickets (shocking, right?) – they’re some of the world’s most skilled acrobats, dressed as bugs, performing in Cirque du Soleil’s show, “Ovo,” which has found a temporary home at Coney Island in Cincinnati.
The performance showcases the world of bugs in a way you’ve never seen. Dragonflies twirl through the air, ants flip giant pieces of fruit with their feet, spiders twist themselves with rope, scarabs soar on trapezes and a lone traveling bug searches for his lost egg.
For an afternoon, yelpers got to take a behind the scenes look at Cirque and its amazing performers. There was a slight fear that looking behind the curtain might ruin the magic – but that was quickly washed away. Seeing these performer as real people, training, practicing, working to improve, made it even more unbelievable when we finally saw them in action.
Yelpers went in the training tent, where the cast was exercising and relaxing. We met with Karl L’Écuyer, a trampoline and wall performer and one of the “cricket” brigade. His squad did stunts on the show’s combination trampoline floor and rock wall – the only one of its kind in the world.
Karl went through the whole process of Cirque – how most of the performers were competitors before joining the show (three of the “crickets” were in the Olypics!). The acrobats come from all over the world to tour with Ovo, creating a multi-national, multi-lingual family.
The group had been working on “Ovo” for more than two years now and had done over 700 performances. But every day, every time, there’s still a little bit of fear for Karl as he prepares for his stunts. It was interesting to see that he feels the same angst that we do while watching him … well, at least a little of it.
After speaking with Karl, the yelpers watched him do a bit of demonstration on a rock wall before heading into the main tent. There all the crickets gathered to practice and run through their routine – Ovo’s big finale. A high jumping, high falling, thunderous, pounding, choreographed section in which acrobats run, jump, climb and fall, often simultaneously. It’s a closer unlike any other.
Seeing the inner-workings of Cirque simply made Ovo that much more powerful. While watching the performance, you sometimes forget that that the acrobats are simply people – well, people doing seemingly inhuman acts of agility, bravery and strength, in and out of costume. Yelp’s peek behind the curtain just put it all into perspective.
Alex S, Cincinnati Communith Manager.