Varekai

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Colton's picture
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Juggling has not been in the show since Vlad Pestov left Varekai to play Kali in Amaluna (he's been out two months for injury)

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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I just saw Varekai in Amsterdam and the show is a bit of a mixed bag right now. The first act desperately needs some fire as it just fell flat tonight. Aerial net, dance trapeze and Georgian dance were all quite good, but it just needed something bigger acrobatically. Tumbling was very short and weirdly structured, and while dance trapeze was pretty good it felt too similar to aerial net in some places. Having only 3 acrobatic acts just doesn't seem to be enough when one of them is subpar. The clown act also went on way too long compared to the acrobatics. I could tell people around me were pretty let down as well.

The second act was much better though. Apart from cyr wheel, all of the acts delivered, with aerial straps and Russian swings as the obvious high points of the night. I don't know if the Skywatcher has always been part of Russian swings, but I thoroughly enjoyed his involvement as catcher/spotter. Slippery surface was cute, but once again it felt kind of similar to an earlier act (in this case: tumbling).

Jamieson sounded fantastic all night. I got chills during multiple of his songs and his voice blended beautifully with Isabelle's, who's solos where unfortunately more often than not off-key. I don't regret seeing Varekai as the second act was very impressive, but knowing what this show once was compared to what I saw tonight, I have to say I'm slightly dissapointed with what Cirque put on stage.

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Great review, good (well, not so good) to hear where it's at right now. It's too bad what's happened to Varekai. It's my favourite show, and it's tough to see it in such a disappointing state. I'm rather glad I missed it when it came to my nearest arena, as it would've likely broken my heart (for a lack of a better metaphor).

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For me, aeiral acts are usually much of a muchness and all the same: Flight of Icarus, dance trapeze AND aerial straps in one show? Yawn! (Much like when I saw quidam in 2004, they had aerial straps, aerial silks, cloud swing, aerial hoops and spanish webs all in one show, apart from spanish webs, I could barely stay awake.)

Taking out icarian games, water meteor and juggling was a big mistake. They gave the show character and uniquenss. Now its juts too many boring acts. Lets face it, Georgian Dance and Solo Crutches aren't proper acts, so you are left with 7 actual acrobatic routines, half of which are pretty much the same aerial acts. That ain't good.

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I would prefer aerial acts instead of balancing acts. When I saw Kurios, there was balancing on chairs and balancing on canes -- back to back. My sister told me, "If they do another balance act after this, I'm gonna be pissed."

For me aerial acts is what makes a Cirque show, which is why I was very upset when my showing of Amaluna didn't have the aerial hoop act.

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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For me, its the group acts that make cirque. Chinese Poles, Bungee, Taiko, Trapeze in Mystere, Skipping Ropes, Hoop Diving and Dralions in Dralion, Spanish Web and Banquine in Quidam! Those are the acts that stick with me for years. Same with the unique acts to each show: Manipulation in Totem, Icarian Games in OVO and Wheel of Death in Kooza.

When I see the same act with different costume/makeup but effectively the same in every other way, I get bored: Hand balancing, Aerial silk/strap/hoop, Korean Plank and Contortion are the main offenders. BUT all this said, it does largely depend on circumstance as to whether I enjoy it or not. Eg Teeterboard in Dralion was great but not in Amaluna.

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Rowelle, balancing on canes is a backup act isn't it so hopefully the rest of us won't be unlucky and get back to back balancing! That being said, picture how bored you were and double it cos thats how I felt in Quidam. We all have personal preferences, but c'mon 5 aerial acts, is that really necessary? And they took out German wheel for straps which annoyed me.

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I usually really like aerial acts but it definitely all felt a bit of the same to me in Varekai. The show basically starts out with aerial solo, floor group number, clowns, aerial solo, dance number, floor group number, clowns, dance number and aerial duet right now. Taking out water meteors, icarian games, juggling and (to an extent) triple trapeze was not good for variety.

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Yeah, balancing on canes was a backup. I saw the show twice three weeks apart and for both shows I never got Rola Bola, just those damn canes, which is sad. For Quidam, the cloud swing and aerial silks were annoying. Cloud swing felt like she was just swinging back and forth the whole damn time; aerial silks felt like watching someone try to figure out what the hell she was doing and what she was going to do next. So for those two, I was very bored.

But I mean like I feel like a Cirque show isn't complete until there's at least one aerial act. :) La Nouba's aerial silks is boring and basic AF. Thank God for the music in that act.


Funhouse, it kills me that they removed triple trapeze! That and aerial net were my two favorite acts. Glad the net is still in the show.

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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I've really wanted to see Rola Bola ever since they combined it with the aerial element of it I'd be ultra pissed if that was out when I saw it. And dont get me wrong in Quidam I love Spanish Webs dearly and aerial hoops is great with the music but as you said, silks cloud swing and especially straps tipped the balance. And I totally agree, La Nouba's is boring but my god the music is so good!

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What?! I've never heard La Nouba's silk acts called boring before. I think its one of the most beautiful and stunning Cirque acts ever.

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Waiter, it is the most visually beautiful out of all aerial silk acts from Cirque, but tricks wise, all he ever does is swing back and forth and around in a circle. The music is its saving grace.

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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Completely agree. The only trick I like is when they curl the silk around them and suddenly drop down. Otherwise its pretty plain acrobatically.

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Whoa, I totally disagree about Quidam! I loved all the aerial acts -- aerial silks was heartwrenching, aerial hoop was probably one of the best scored and choreographed acts in CdS history imo, and Spanish webs is amazing and had the group element people mentioned! I'll give you cloud swing, I'm in the minority for loving that one, but given the variety and symbolism in each of these acts, I have never felt that Quidam had too much aerial.

Varekai on the other hand... I agree it was a mistake to remove water meteors and Icarian. Synchro tumbling just doesn't cut it by comparison and I don't feel it's well-integrated into the show. You really felt like the water meteors act added to the "family" element of the Varekai world (and so did Icarian to an extent imo), and synchro tumbling just doesn't do that. While triple trapeze is dearly missed, I do like the addition of the Huntress character and love her act. Kerren McKeeman is a wonder.

Rowelle, so sorry you missed rola bola in Kurios!! It's really amazing. At least you'll be able to catch it on the DVD when it releases!

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Fair enough semi and seeing it on its final tour I didn't think there was too much aerial either (spanish web, silks and hoops), but did you watch the show with half the acts being aerial? Probably not considering straps was only during the Australian tour of 2004-5. And it only takes one more act (as Rowelle said was the case with balancng in Kurios) to tip the balance (no pun intended) in variety, especially when a non-aerial act was taken out. But each to their own of course

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IDK, if an act is magnificent artistically it can make even the most plain of acrobatic acts feel spectacular.

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An insider from Varekai had told me Varekai was filmed (In the format that is it now ) in 2017. I can't and won't say who, but they told me it was filmed for cirques "archiaval" reasonings as we are all aware of. Any thoughts??

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Thoughts? Well I want a copy for my archival sake, but not because I care that much about the show in its current state. Could be a hint that its going to retire soon, especially considering it is reaching its planned 15 year mark. Based on the rumours I've heard on here itll finish up in Europe then move to Asia (maybe Australia to the non capital cities) and then I guess it could retire in a similar fashion to Quidam.

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I wonder if it's footage for a documentary style similar to the forever 20 doc of saltimbanco

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I wonder if it's footage for a documentary style similar to the forever 20 doc of saltimbanco

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Varekai might be nearing the end of its arena tour run.They filmed La Nouba again for the same purpose a couple of weeks back (or a few weeks, I lose track of time these days). And they may have done so for Paramour a few weeks before it closed.

This would be the same type of recording you see for ZED, ZAIA, Zarkana (two actually, one at the Kremlin and the final show in Las Vegas), and IRIS that have hit the web in various forms. There's also one for Viva Elvis. And the aforementioned La Nouba. The Saltimbanco 20 documentary also falls into this category - as it was a goodbye docu made for employees. 

 

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Any chance Varekai comes back to the states for a 'farewell tour'? 

"All your dreams can come true. IF you have to courage to pursue them."-Walt Disney

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Hmm.... ;)

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unlikely considering here's plenty other countries it hasn't even visited since GC and given it was recently filmed, I'd say there's no time

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https://www.instagram.com/p/BTkOfsqgHQ2/

OMG...all those copies!!!!

Richasi's picture
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GIVE. ONE. TO. ME!!!!

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Tracker: Keep your eyes open for a possible US return - like Kooza did. Don't expect a full tour, just a few stop-overs.

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Saltimbanco returned to North America for a few stops before closing in Montreal. It's not unheard of. 

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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God I hope it does. It never came to Southern California when I was living there, and now that I'm on the east coast, I'm too late for when it was actually here!

-ispeakcirquish

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I was living in Portland, Maine at the time and a few weeks before Salti closed it became the first show to ever play in our state. It was a fun and surprising little milestone the show made so late in its run for the company to open us as a first time market so close to both Montreal and the shows finale. In the cirquecast with Jamieson he hit the nail on the head saying small markets get a special and excited feeling for cirque to come for the first time. Everyone was so excited and proud. Varekai played Portland and Bangor after and Ovo just in Bangor - hoping one day it'll double back! 

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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