Cirque du Soleil: Oh, So Kurios

Vicky Lee, age 17


“The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.” ― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

I have been properly bewitched since this October. That is to say, absolutely and hopelessly bewitched: ever since the infamous Cirque du Soleil hurricaned into my life. One moment I was bitterly cursing into my mittens, in line behind another hundred grumpy individuals huddling away from the biting West Coast wind. And the next, I was stepping into a steampunk fairy-tale world all underneath a soaring depthless black. The hextech lights, the swinging music, the fantastical costumes all featured in Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities; they brought me back to my sci-fi fantasy-loving, 10-year-old self once again, even before the performance began.

Beyond amazing tricks and illusions, I found myself entranced by the interactions between the stage and audience. Cast members would chaotically pile themselves on platforms to entertain each and every section of the crowd, creating a hectic yet festive merrymaking for all. Some performers would venture into front rows to bug or play with children. It is an intimate exchange where the entertainers visibly feed off the enjoyment of the audience. I personally fell in love with the live singer Eirini Tornesaki, whose ghostly and captivating voice accompanies most of the scenes in the show.

However, I cannot properly recreate the experience for you — because that is what it is: an experience. But know when the show begins, you will hear a chime. The numbers on a clock above the stage, previously unnoticed by the audience, starts revolving at a slow, dreamlike pace. You will hear gears groaning and machines sputtering to life. Suddenly the lights turn off and a hush settles over the gathered crowd. It’s 11:11, with no indication of daytime or nighttime, and the circus has arrived.

The ephemeral atmosphere will coax you from reality and completely consume you. When the half time gives you a brief respite, a haze lingers in your mind. And when the show ends you will find yourself in middle of the cold, cold parking lot, wondering if it really happened or not. You understand one thing though. You hope that the circus will visit you again; you hope to see it in your dreams.