Don’t think performing in the circus is an extreme sport? Watch the Cirque du Soleil acrobat hang tenuously from a hand, a foot, or just their neck as they spin furiously and contort on a rope high off the ground… or bound off a springboard into a triple full layout and land– steadily standing—on the waiting hands of his partner… or a slender waif of a woman leaning with one arm on a wobbly post and lift her whole body into a series of acrobatically insane inverse poses.
Cirque du Soleil is an extreme sport in my eyes– the ‘extreme’ coming not from the environmental safety threat, as is typically the case in outdoor extreme sports (though certainly Cirque performers risk significant injury), but rather from the extremes to which they have elevated the level of their performance.
What the human body is capable of doing is miraculous. I have so much respect for the level of passion and focus it requires to operate one’s body at that level of mastery.
If Verkai last night wasted time with superfluous schtick comedy bits plugged in, and if one or two of the acrobatic acts were far too short, I’ll forgive it.
The music was sumptuous at worst, spell binding at best. The costuming was, as usual, mesmerizing.
And for me, I would endure far more interspersed bits of tedium just for the chance to sit and gaze –utterly hypnotized– at the Cirque performers’ pure mastery of visceral physics.