When was the last time you went to the circus and were wowed by the amazing acrobats and performances? For us, it had be a while. But this weekend Cirque du Soleil is back in Detroit with their show OVO, and we were treated to a behind the scenes look at the show and what it takes for the touring act to come to life each week.
Cirque du Soleil OVO takes you down to the level of bugs. The story is built of several different acts, but has one underlying story. The insects all encounter an egg that comes into their world and it leaves them questioning their lives and how they came to be. With stunning acrobatics, gravity defying stunts, live music and costumes that can only be described as artwork – OVO is here to wow audiences.
From the moment we got to the state, we were able to watch one of the artists performing. With his trainer (also his mother) not far away, the performer who plays the silver spider practiced on his slack rope. His act included walking, flipping, rolling and even riding a unicycle on the line in a handstand. The amazing balance and core strength he had was on full display as he did his act on the a wire that is the thickness of your pinkie.
Cirque du Soleil OVO is more than an amazing act, they are a collective of over 100 international talents, doctors, and crew members. With over 20 different countries represented the cast is a truly unique and talented. The cast of OVO includes families and multiple generations included in trainers and children that travel with the show. With the diverse cast, the OVO show tries to make a positive impact wherever they go including hiring local workers to help with setting up, tear down and supplying the show with their needs.
As OVO travels throughout the nation they bring virtually a small city with them including 19 Semi’s full of items. The set of OVO travels with all of their rigging, a full laundry, a complete wardrobe department, catering, a work out gym, sound equipment, a “jungle gym” for warm ups and office equipment. Every day after performances all of the costumes are fully laundered, and other pieces of the wardrobe are touched up and altered as needed.
The costumes for OVO are amazing and all hand constructed by the wardrobe department, and seeing them up close is hard to believe they are the same that you will see on stage. With tables of grasshopper eyes, lady bug hats and wings and feet (those shoes are awe-inspiring), and drawers full of make -up that the cast all do themselves before every show. Each item is labeled and organized for easy use at each new location.
OVO makes its way to a new city every week, and set up of the whole show including the set is done in under 15 hours, and take down of everything is an astonishing 3 hours. The show tries to keep some semblance of normalcy from set to set with the back stage area being set up as close to the same in each location. Cast members have access to the gym that travels with the show, as well as a viewing area with leather sofas and heaters to make sure they don’t miss their entrance. With a full audio center and live music set up, OVO brings the whole show with it on each stop.
Behind the scenes of Cirque du Soleil OVO is nothing short of fascinating, but watching the artist warm up and perform was nothing short of breath taking. Due to the performance schedule of the show, there is no official dress rehearsal in each city. Instead cast members to a stage test to make sure their equipment is properly rigged and do a quick run through of their part of the show. The small amount of down time between cities (2-3 days) gives the cast time to relax some or work out in their hotel gyms. But their warm up performances are still gravity defying, stunning and amazing to watch. With acrobats flying through the air by holding onto one strap, or flipping from different pods and back. These acts will only be more stunning with their elaborate costumes and makeup.
About Cirque du Soleil OVO:
OVO is teeming with life. Insects work, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy in motion. Their home is filled with biodiversity, beauty, action and moments of quiet emotion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.
You can still get tickets for this weekend’s performance of Cirque du Soleil OVO and tickets start at $44 for adults and $25 for children. Cirque du Soleil OVO is playing at the Joe Louis Arena from 12/22-12/25 and this will make a great family holiday treat!