Cirque du Soleil Swings into San Jose with Street-Sports Swagger

I felt like I entering a very vibrant time warp when I walked into the big tent on the opening night of Volta, Cirque du Soleil’s latest show. This gravity-defying spectacle showcases superlative acrobatics and extreme sports in a visually striking world that took me back to the Pre2k vibe and fluorescent palette of the 1990's. 

Energetic, with a playfully urban aesthetic, Volta features a familiar themes of Cirque du Soleil's repertoire -- feeling like an outsider in a cold, cookie-cutter society and transcending that despair through creativity and connection to other souls who don't fit the mold. In this case, the main character's outward manifestation of "otherness" is a brilliant mop of blue hair. Hardly a huge obstacle in today's world, but the colorful coif manages to convey the message.

The performers scoff at the laws of physics in a variety of ways -- giant trampolines, bmx bikes, double-dutch jump rope and the most moving moment of the evening -- a mystical, Indian inspired routine in which a bejeweled enchantress was suspended from the ceiling from a cable attached to her hair. Her lithe, purposeful movements were truly awe-inspiring and transported the room to another dimension. I am sure I was not the only audience member left with a serious case of chills. 

Driven by a stirring melodic score, composed by Anthony Gonzalez from the international electronic group M83, and inspired in part by the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of street sports, Volta is a story of transformation that entertains dreamers of all ages.

Volta runs through March 24, times vary. Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 344 Tully Road, San Jose. 408/494-3166. Click here for ticketsVolta


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