I am a huge fan of Cirque du Soleil. I’ve seen several of the different versions and they are always jaw-droppingly intense and beautiful.
So I was quietly bummed that we weren’t going to get to see Kooza while it was in St. Petersburg because we are
saving for spending all our money on Christmas presents. I even had a Kooza postcard taunting me on the fridge that I finally threw away last week because I was resigned to the fact that we were not going.
On Saturday night Jeb said that he wanted to have dinner at Cevíche Tapas Bar & Restaurant in St. Pete and then go to a movie after. We have a Cevíche in Tampa about 5 minutes from our house but I wasn’t suspicious about driving the extra 40 minutes to St. Pete because we recently had dinner there with Mooger (bff, one of my favorite people ever) and it was fantastic. Plus, we love downtown St. Pete. It is way cooler than Tampa’s nighttime ghost-town downtown.
After dinner I started walking in the direction of the movie theater but Jeb said, “Hold up just a minute” and pulled the tickets to Kooza out of his pocket. Merry Christmas to me!
How often do you actually get surprised in a good way? Not too often, right? Even with gifts you usually have some sort of an inkling about them. I find it so touching when someone takes the time to not only hear you about what makes you happy, but then goes through the trouble to make it a surprise. Surprises require burning a few extra planning calories and I very much appreciate the effort.
The show, of course, was fabulous. It was actually in a circus tent. I’m not sure why that surprised me, it being a circus and all. The other Cirque shows I’ve seen were in buildings, but this being a traveling show, the tent makes sense.
By the way, I should point out that I hate the regular circus with animals. I feel terrible for the poor animals that are endlessly carted around in tiny cages and made to perform with people threatening them with whips and sharp pokers. Disgusting. I always hope an elephant will trample a few of their trainer/torturers.
But Cirque du Soleil has the right idea. No animal exploitation, just incredibly talented performers doing unbelievable, death-defying things with their bodies.
Cirque is always a surreal experience, I feel as if I’m watching a dream take place. The live music is beautifully haunting and the lights and colors are like visual candy. There is usually so much happening on the stage that you can hardly take it all in at once.
I’m such a sappy nerd that I got choked up as soon as the music started. I can’t help it! I just get overwhelmed with the amazing creativity that people are capable of and I’m so happy that I get to experience it that my cup literally runneths over. In the form of tears.
Kooza definitely supported my “dream sequence” theory, the main character was a young boy wearing footie pajamas and a sleeping cap.
And amazing dream-like things happened. First were the Asian contortionist girls that apparently have the vertebrae of a snake. The way that they are able to bend their bodies is absolutely unreal. I pinched a nerve in my neck just watching them.
There was a woman on a trapeze, men walking tightropes, a guy who built a chair tower and did perfectly solid handstands on them balanced 23 feet in the air, and there were people launched from a teeter-totter into spinning flips and landing on the shoulders of a guy who was standing on the shoulders of another guy! WTF!?!
How in the world does anyone have the guts to try these crazy things and how do they perfectly perform these stunts over-and-over night-after-night? They are definitely made from different (much braver and more flexible) stuff than me.
I think my favorite act of the night was the huge, spinning, double hamster wheel. It’s actual name is “The Wheel of Death”, if that gives you any indication of how insane it is.
Two guys get the wheels spinning and flipping and they eventually progress to running on the outside of these wheels that are flying through the air at high speeds and really high off the ground. What makes it so mesmerizing is that because of the spinning motion, the guys can jump and float in the air gravity-less for a few moments at a time. You really have to see it. It’s breath-taking.
It was a great night. And seeing the show made me remember a documentary/reality show that I had seen years ago about performers trying out for the chance to be in a Cirque du Soleil show. It’s an extremely competitive and physically grueling endeavor. The series is called Fire Within. I will review it on HubPages soon.
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Thank you and happy holidays! xoxo