|The Praxinoscope [Image credit: Mark Dulong © Cirque du Soleil]|
Ethereal acrobats. Levitating aerialists. Curvy contortionists -- Welcome to Hollywood!
You should feel right at home.
"Iris," Cirque du Soleil's new production based at the Kodak Theatre in the heart of Tinseltown, is a delightful and surreal voyage through the history of cinema -- an appropriate homage given its permanent location.
I had the chance last week to check out the show at Blogger Night, along with some of my L.A.-based bloggy friends, and I came away thinking just how weirdly (in a good way) talented these people are and how rare this kind of performance art actually is these days.
On the surface, "Iris" (written and directed by Philippe Decoufle) tells the story of a lovestruck couple -- a very limber young man named Buster and a beautiful starlet named Scarlet (pictured below) -- who have a difficult time connecting after they're thrown into a world of film. Of course, in the Cirque world, as well as in Hollywood, there are more than few distractions to trip up any potential pair.
|[Image credit: Matt Beard © 2011 Cirque du Soleil]|
All the while, the audience is along for the celluloid-friendly ride, as dancers, acrobats and contortionists -- as well as cleverly costumed performers, such as the Praxinoscope woman above -- glide, flit and drift onto the stage for their figurative 15 minutes.
Black-and-white, noir, action-adventure are all on stage, complete with specially placed cameras to film the action as it's happening, creating a hypnotic backdrop to actual live action. Danny Elfman's score adds a dramatically dreamy sense to the occasion as well.
Some highlights include twin aerialists who swing and spin what seems like miles above the audience; a group of acrobats dressed as colorful insects who perform physical feats of flipping that you wouldn't believe; as well as a gangster number that involves cleverly placed trampolines.
And, of course, given its subject matter and Academy Awards venue, there's a fun Oscars spoof.
So, parents, I know you're wondering if children are welcome. As far as Cirque rules go, the show is recommended for ages 5 and older. I have taken CC to see another Cirque show, "Kooza," which she loved, and I would love to take her to see "Iris," because she would go crazy for the dancing and the visually stunning tableaux.
It's a dazzling tribute to film that pokes fun while honoring the place where it all got started.