I got to watch Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai at Quirino Grandstand the other day, and it’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. This is the first time Cirque du Soleil ever came to the Philippines, but I wasn’t really expecting the Grand Chapiteau’s seats to be all filled up when we got there. I guess a lot of people (my family and I included!) decided to catch them just before their Philippine run ends on July 24.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect when we got there, and I think that was a good thing. If I’d seen the YouTube videos before watching the actual show, I’d probably be disappointed like a few of the other Filipinos who commented about it on the official site.

The show that we saw had ten main acts, plus the clown acts that were peppered in between. I’m a bit disappointed that the Juggling act and Solo on Crutches act weren’t included in the show, but I really can’t complain because everything we did get to see was absolutely magical.

One of the first acts was the Flight of Icarus (performed by Mark Halasi), which involved a net and some impressive aerial acrobatics and contortions. Thanks to my limited knowledge of circus acts, I thought aerial acts only involved trapezes or hoops, and as far as I knew, nets were only used to catch the acrobats in case they lost their grip. Watching how deftly the acrobat handled himself and the net just blew my mind.

Aerial Straps was another act that I particularly liked because those acrobats look kinda hot of the sheer power and strength the acrobats (Igor Arefiev and Hampus Jansson) displayed. They were swinging around in the air with only one hand tied to a strap most of the time, and they were carrying and supporting each other with such effortless grace.

Similarly, Leysan Gayazova’s display of strength and flexibility in the Aerial Hoop act was just beautiful. I loved how she kept on smiling and reaching out to the audience, too. She just made everything she did seem so easy and fun! And speaking of fun

…the final act, Russian Swings, was probably the most fun and exciting act in the show. Everyone was clapping and cheering while the acrobats were being vaulted into the air! I may have overdone it with my cheering, though – afterward my hands felt numb from clapping too much and my throat was itching thanks to all my excited shrieking. At the end of the show, the performers had to come out on the stage three times because we just couldn’t stop clapping and cheering for them!

I could go on and on about the show, really – there was no part of it that I didn’t like. The only annoying thing about the entire experience was having to hear the stuck-up old ladies sitting behind us argue with the ushers over their seats (they were in the wrong seats and were refusing to let the ushers double-check their tickets).

Anyway, I’ve definitely become a Cirque du Soleil fan thanks to Varekai. I really hope that Cirque du Soleil decides to comes back to the Philippines in the future. If they do, I’m going to make sure I get to watch them again!

Elrica Gosiengfiao

El is a writer/editor by day and gamer/bookworm by night. She has been described by her significant other as “blunt as a baseball bat with bent nails” because of her brutally honest nature.

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