I’m not sure what I expected when I entered the opulent Las Vegas Bellagio theater that night. But I could not have imagined how absolutely enraptured I would be with “O”. It was my first experience with Cirque Du Soleil and I can guarantee it won’t be my last.
“O” (named after the French word for water – “eau”) is a bewitching journey through a dream world, filled with sprites dancing on the waves and demons that soar through stormy skies. Mere moments after the lights go down the multi-sensory experience of mist, incense, chant, and optical illusion draw you into Cirque’s clutches and do not let go until the curtain falls. It is at once consuming and freeing to be enveloped in such creative collaboration of so many unique forms of art. For instance, the haunting musical score that accompanies the show is performed live, with breath-taking vocals and instrumentation. The lighting and backgrounds morph effortlessly to set the tone for each segment, uplifting and alighting the mood only to sink it to watery depths further down the path.
And in the midst of it all, the most spectacular acrobatic performaces you’ll ever witness seem to effortlessly materialize and then vanish all too quickly. The bravery and the beauty of it all is simply stunning – I forgot to breathe more than once during the show. Diving, tumbling, flying, contorting, swinging, spinning – even the water ballet will astound you.
All that being said, “O” is very, very, VERY French. Everything about it is completely over the top, saturated, exaggerated. Its artistic liberties may strike some as twisted or disturbing – dark at the very least (as in, leave the kiddies at home). The story line is difficult to follow and the symbolism almost impossible to fully comprehend. From what I gather, Cirque Du Soleil performances in general are best enjoyed when the viewer abandons reality at the door and allows their senses to appreciate the beauty of the experience without trying to deeply interpret. In other words, let go and revel in the ride.
I can’t wait for my next one.
***Thanks to the totally rad Cirque team for providing my friends & I with tickets to “O”. They did not require anything of me in return and this review is my honest opinion of my experience.