If you’re a first-timer to the fabulous Cirque du Soleil show, you’ll be blown away by the sheer awesomeness of the performance, with acrobatics, traditional circus acts with a modern twist, fairytales and fantasy, live music, and a generous helping of comedy that keeps even young children enthralled. If you’ve seen the show before, now is the time to come back. And here’s why:
The Pablos: La Nouba’s pre-show, formerly a clown duo who just couldn’t seem to move a stack of boxes from point A to point B (with hilarious results!) have apparently succeeded, but their replacements appear to be having a problem with their party planning, from a cake whose candle won’t blow out to some serious issues with a piñata. They are also part of the main show, as their predecessors were, and have quickly become a crowd favourite with their wacky interactive style, carrying on the circus-clown tradition repeat visitors have grown to love.
We attended a media showing, after which La Nouba’s Artistic Director Daniel Ross told us, “Over the last few months and the last year, we have changed the whole opening section of the show. We have two new acts in the first twenty minutes and everything is completely new, from the music to the costumes and lighting. We think we managed to preserve the soul of the show as well as refreshing it,” while Head Coach Matthew Sparks also confirmed, “The first 20-plus minutes of the show is now completely new but somehow still familiar.” We agree whole-heartedly, and thoroughly enjoy the updated pre-show.
B-Boys: The trio of Josh Ortiz, Jean Crlos Lloret, and Dmytro Li (be one of the cool kids and call them by their nicknames, Incredible Josh, Bebo, and Flying Buddha respectively) bring street-dancing, or “B-boying” to Cirque, in a high-energy segment that will make viewers marvel at how the mere mortals can flip and spin that fast without toppling off the stage. Those of a certain age will remember the advent of break-dancing in the mid-1970s, and B-Boys bring that hip sub-culture to the show with immense style.
Daniel Ross explains: “We said we thought the opening of the show needed to have a little revision, hence we brought in the two new acts. We used to have the German Wheel act, which was very industrial and urban. We wanted to stay urban and we have used a lot of traditional acts, so we felt it was time to try something else from street culture, so we made that opening urban and powerful with dance, in this case acrobatic dance with the B Boys. They were very popular in the 1980s. Cirque du Soleil’s head coach used to a B-Boy himself.”
Cirque du Soleil’s Head Coach (the former B-boy, mentioned above) Matthew Sparksadds, “Some of the back-story of the show is why the B-Boys fit in so well. La Nouba started as a brainchild of one of the early founders, Gilles Saint Croix, and a family member challenged him that Cirque needed a hip-hop show, and he took that, among many other threads, when he composed the new show. It is a world of fairytales and urbanists, how they are influenced by the circus and how it has changed who they are. Now we have the B-Boys, and their segment fits in like it has always been there. They have a feeling in the performance that they are part of that urban world but they are already something different. They drive the energy of the show early on.”
Aerial Bamboo: Many of La Nouba’s acts are whimsical, slightly dark, or super high-energy, but this one is remarkably beautiful, and even more so once you know the two acrobats are husband and wife. Russian couple Alexander and Ekaterina Abromov have performed all over the world, and are considered among the very best in their chosen art form. During their segment, Alexander holds Ekaterina only by his hands, his feet, and (during one heart-stopping element) by his teeth, while he holds on to the steel bar on which they perform, using only his hands and feet. And all of this while suspended high above the stage!
Creative Director Rossfilled us in on the details: “The Aerial Bamboo act used to be done on a piece of bamboo, hence the name, but we are more modern and efficient so we use a stainless-steel bar. The couple who perform the act are from Russia and have evolved from a traditional circus. They have been together for eleven years. This act is less common now and we thought it was a good fit for this position in the show, because the second act has always been more poetic and we didn’t want to lose that, as well as wanting to keep the traditional circus idea of being up in the air. It is a love story, basically, that they actually put on stage every day. And, while it looks hard to do, they have the acrobatic part in their pockets. They say that the hardest part for them is to make sure they actually touch the audience with their performance.” There is no danger of missing that particular mark; it’s one of several moments in the show that holds the audience rapt, but can also produce a tear or two just for its breathtaking gracefulness.
Head Coach Sparkstouched on one of the most jaw-dropping elements in the act (we challenge you not to cover your eyes!): “One of my favourite moments is where he is holding her by a piece held in his mouth and she drops below him and spins like a human top, faster than a skater pirouetting on ice. The raw, visible human performance has gone up and gone further than it did in the previous show.”
Sparks also shared his vision for La Nouba’s current growth: “It was important to me personally that we didn’t lose the integrity of the show even though it is now revitalised and refreshed. The opening act has that feeling of rush hour, people going from one place to another and not looking around them, and that’s what we have with our Urbans. Then we have this energetic dance going on. Then, when you need to breathe again, we have that with the aerial bamboo act.”
We have had the pleasure of seeing La Nouba several times since it first opened, and each time we write about it with the utmost enthusiasm. Even so, every time we see it again we come away from it saying, “We knew it was good, but it’s even better than we remembered!”
Have questions about Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba, or just want to chat about all things Orlando? Join us on the Attraction Tickets Direct discussion forums, here.
Liked this post? You may also like...