In the early afternoon on Saturday, Jenn, Rae, myself and both sets of our parents caught the Cirque du Soleil show Corteo currently taking up residence outside the parking lot of Atlantic Station.

We’ve seen enough Cirque shows (6, I believe) that it’s fun to see how they tweak different acts to keep them fresh. These are feats of strength and acrobatics, mind you, that aren’t exactly run of the mill, but even innovators need to stay on top of their game.

Without going into a vignette by vignette accounting of each and every act, skit, tumble and toss, I want to say that my favorite parts of these shows is always the live music and the narrative aspect. You’re not just seeing a circus, you’re watching a story unfold. In this area Corteo doesn’t disappoint. The music is strong and the story, while relying on too much verbal exposition (annoyingly enough, in English), is still very powerful.

The basic premise is that the central character, a clown, dreams of his own death and the show unfolds as mourners visit him on his deathbed and he both journeys towards heaven while remembering his earthly joys. Or something like that.

From the site:

The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us.

The humanity of the show was what really struck me, as it always does. From the sublime to the ridiculous, Cirque du Soleil really does celebrate a very humanistic world view and I enjoy that.

I don’t think it’s in town much longer, but if you’ve got the time, I highly recommend checking it out.

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