During the first part of December, I attended 3 circuses in 2 weeks. I hadn't planned for this to happen, but it was so wonderful to experience three completely different circuses in such a sort period of time.
The first circus was Michael Jackson's The Immortal World Tour put on by Cirque du Soleil. My husband bought tickets 18 months ago and I had forgotten all about this until just a few days before. One reviewer said that the show was quite bizarre, so I had no expectations. The energy in the packed Rose Garden was infectious. So many people were dressed in sequins and I was super excited.
It was a huge production and some aspects of it were amazing. The dancers were all very talented and it had the Cirque du Soleil feel that is so wonderful. It was also completely strange. There were parts to the show that were just weird and I couldn't figure out why they were part of the show. But overall, it was great fun and I'm so glad we went.
While waiting for the Cirque du Soleil circus to start, my husband got a text from a friend asking if we wanted to be on the guest list to a circus at Imago. Our friend was one of the musicians in the production. Of course, we said yes! So 2 days later, we were at Imago to see Charvari - An Adventurous Circus about the Journey of Immigration.
This very small production had 7 cast members and 4 musicians. I really loved being able to see them perform so close. One lady did aerial work with chains that was so impressive and kind of scary. I was always afraid she would be hit by the heavy chains, but of course she performed perfectly. This production was mostly in Spanish with some English thrown in. It was night and day from the Cirque du Soleil performance, but I liked it just as much.
A week later, we were at the Portland Art Museum to see The Circus Project. I had been a backer for their Kickstarter campaign and I received two tickets to their gala performance. The Circus Project headed by Jenn Cohen is a program that takes at risk homeless youth and teaches them to be professional circus performers in less than one year. You can read more about the program here.
Again, I really had no idea what to expect with this production. We were seated at round tables with candles and it had a nightclub feel to it. Odysseus came out on his segway boat and was the narrator of the show. He was the perfect MC to keep things light and to fill time during performance set up. Almost the entire show was done in the audience. I was so impressed by this! We were able to see the performers very close and the audience felt like part of the show. Odysseus even let me fondle his nipple at one point.
The performers were amazing! Each played a different god or goddess keeping with the Odysseus theme of the show. It's really crazy to think that they had been performing for such a short period of time. They were definitely pros.
Out of the three performances, I think I like the Circus Project the best probably because the audience felt so included and it was fun to see these kids doing such amazing feats.
This is a great short film about the performance that we saw and the kids in the performance. It will give you a sense of what the Circus Project is about.