Corteo is one of the Cirque du Soleil traveling shows, and it is wrapping up its Seattle leg.
I enjoy the Cirque du Soleil shows, but can't quite hand myself over entirely to the experience. I'm too linear. I want things to make sense. When I go to a show that presumably has a story or theme, I want to follow along with that story. That's not really possible with a Cirque show. Supposedly they all follow a theme. They express a story rather than tell one. Many of them are based on legends or dreams, further enhancing the ethereal nature.
They are beautiful expressions of athleticism, balance, juggling, comedy, and the true, incredible capabilities of the human body. The creativity and energy is intoxicating.
Especially when I stop trying to think about the story.
This was my fifth Cirque show. I've seen Dralion and Delirium in Seattle; and I've seen Ka and O in Vegas. I don't think this was my favorite, but everytime I try to rank them I come up with nothing. So maybe it is my favorite afterall.
I guess the trick is not to think about it too much.
Corteo tells the story of clown who dreams about his funeral. The different acts tell about different parts of his life. At the end, I'm not sure if the clown is actually dead or his dream just ends.
One of the early acts is a bunch of acrobats jumping around on two trampolines/beds. The energy and wackiness is truly joyful. The story is about the wild times in the clown's youth and can be read in a couple different ways. It's either about the exuberance on children, or the young clown's sexual exploits. Regardless, the portrayal is subtle enough for the act (like all the others) to be perfectly family friendly.
The Chandelier act, Tibetan bowls, Teatro Intimo and other acts are all amazing.
Also in the cast are two little people -- a husband and wife team. In one act, the woman is suspended from several helium balloons and floats around the stage and audience like a beach ball at a rock concert.
As an added plus, parts of the show are actually in English. Most Cirque shows are in gibberish or French. This made it quite a bit easier to pretend I was following the story.
This show is also more intimate than a typical Cirque show. At most Cirque shows, the clowns play with the audience a little bit in the beginning, then they climb up on stage. The rest of the show happens in a disconnected manner. There is no acknowledgment that there are two thousand people watching until the curtain call at the end.
Corteo is different. The performers look through that fourth wall to the crowd. The clown references Seattle. They play to the audience in a way that is different from the straight up exhibition I've come to expect from Cirque.
There is a little crowd work in the beginning, but not too much. If you want to make sure you don't participate, simple avoid the first or last row in a section, and avoid the aisle seats. But really, I wouldn't worry about it.
The only complaint I have would be the seats themselves. They are too narrow. Coach seats on most airliners will give you more room. In these seats, you are almost guaranteed to be touching the person next to you. Since Cirque takes the whole thing on the road, these seats will follow the show to all cities.
If you are a fan of Cirque Du Soliel, it's a fun show and worth the time. If you haven't been to a Cirque show, it's a good a introduction to genre. Anyway I look at it, it's an evening well spent.