When given two tickets to see Cirque Du Soleil at the Royal Albert Hall for my birthday, I knew it was going to be a fantastic evening. Partly because of the prestigious reputation Cirque Du Soleil has, but also because of the stunning venue which the performance was set in, the Royal Albert Hall.
Honestly, I didn’t know much about Cirque Du Soleil, all I really knew was what had been passed down to me from word of mouth, that the work which the company did was circus related and that if you watched one of their performances on narcotics, you would sure to find it a three dimensional interactive Neverland, which would take you on a physical, mental and emotional journey.
Fortunately, I stood away from any traces of narcotics and saw the performance of Amaluna in its full glory and my own sobriety. Acknowledged around the world for creating a performance troupe with its own unique and individual style of theatrical performance, I was intrigued and excited to see what was in store; both from a creative and theatrical trained eye, as well as an everyday observer.
As the audience stopped shifting in their seats, and the lights began to dim, an actress pasted in garish make up used the performance elements of mime and physical theatre to dumb the venue into silence, and of course burst into laughter.
Immediately, I began to wonder and worry, is the performance going to be entirely based on this slapstick style of comedy, one which is hilarious in moments but embarrassingly awkward at times. However, the scene weaved into the opening act which highlighted the agility, talent and performance that the company is known for, as acrobats began to toss and tumble in the air, twisting and turning their bodies in perfect balance and symmetry to one another, I was memorised.
Acrobats and dancers donned exquisite colourful patterned outfits with feathered and jewelled head pieces all with such ornate detail; any would not look out of place at the celebrations of Mardi Gras. The show began to take a linear turn, based on a loose narrative around a shipwreck and forbidden love, which weaved elements of physical theatre, circus performance, song and slapstick humour, creating a kaleidoscope of colour, movement and sound.
Each circus performance outrageously out did the last act, with different groups of performers coming together and showcasing their array of talents, stunning the audience into an appreciative stupor. Highlights were the aerial straps, the teeter board, uneven bars, a waterbowl, and the lady which managed to balance a numerous amount of wooden poles onto her finger. It could have felt staged, a collisions of acts put together to create a circus performance (like La Soiree I saw- outrageously awesome but definitely a circus performance), but no, Amaluna was a performance which was more than just circus tricks, a creative theatrical awakening.
The Royal Albert Hall was a just setting for such a wonderful performance, acoustically fitting but also ideal for aerial straps and perfect for lighting. The grand venue which has held so many legendary musicians, felt quite right for my first viewing of Cirque Du Soleil and I urge all if can, to watch it here.