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Experiencing Second Childhood: Varekai

Weeks ago, I was fortunate to be invited to see Cirque Du Soleil's Manila presentation, Varekai.  Despite that I already saw a similar presentation on a certain stage production, I'm still excited to see Varekai because this could be my 2nd time to see an authentic circus show since my childhood.  Varekai didn't fail me.

Loosely based on a Greek mythology about Icarus (Mark Halasi), who falls to the ground, breaking his legs as he does. He is suddenly in a strange, new world full of creatures he has never seen before. Parachuted into the shadows of an enchanted forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantasy creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered. Assisted by the strange and quirky Skywatcher (Gordon White), he works on regaining his strength and finding his way to fly again. While on the ground, he meets La Promise (Yulia Mykhailova) -The Betrothed, an underground insect-like creature who he falls in love with. The two have barely met when she is kidnapped. Having already lost his love, Icarus must also find a way to see her again and conquer the obstacles in his path, continuing his quest through the world of Varekai.

The show indeed takes me back to my childhood.  Just like what I've said earlier, there are other productions that features acrobatic shows but Varekai is far more superior compared to these small shows.  Like Icarus, Cirque Du Soleil managed to transport their audience from our world to a world fill of imagination in just a snap of the finger.  The colorful costumes and creative designs transformed this make believe fantasy into a production that can tickle the inner child from anyone.

Here are some of my favorite acts from the show:

Flight of Icarus where performer Mark Halasi executes an elegant and gracious contortion and acrobatic act on mid air with the use of straps and net.

Water Meteors.  Though it seems this is a very easy act, what makes this special is that it is performed by three kids.  And they are awesome.  Water Meteors is an acrobatic act where performers twirl ropes with metal cups attached to the ends, simultaneously performing virtuosic acrobatic feats.  It was a very enjoyable act and watching this 3 young performers fascinates us on how people on this business starts on a very young age.

Areal Straps.  Like the Flight of Icarus, this is a breathtaking act on air using elastic straps performing acrobatics.  But unlike the first, this time 2 acrobats performs stunts on air simultaneously.  This act is a good display of union between beauty, symmetry and strength.  Indeed a very stunning performance to remember.

Russian Swings.  The show is concluded with a riveting stunt where performers are propelled from 2 giant swings.  Acrobats are hurled high into the air, alighting on their partners' wrists or on a landing canvas, sometimes even flying from one moving swing to the other.  A gracious ending that makes audience crave for more.

Varekai is a wonderful night of enchantment and acrobatics.  Experiencing it in Manila is a big privilege and absolutely a very memorable one.  Everyone who wants to revisit their childhood must take the chance to see Varekai.  Catch the final shows until it ends on July 8, at the Grand Chapiteau Quirino Grand Stand, Manila. Tickets are available through their online box office at www.hoopla.ph or www.cirquedusoleil.com. For inquiries, call 775-0939, 881-0947, 0919-4508125 and 0917-4436463.

This is your last chance to watch this magnificent show.  Grab your tickets now.

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