Cirque du Soleil VOLTA Review

Volta, the new show from Cirque de Soliel, is a celebration of individuality and high-energy street sports. In many ways, Volta harkens back to Cirque’s beginnings as a band of acrobats, jugglers, and dancers performing in the streets of a small town near Quebec City, Canada. The audience is swept into the camaraderie and adrenaline of unbridled athletic performances.
While the acrobatic performances are the focus of the show, there is a plotline surrounding lead character Waz. He tries out for a talent show and is shamed when it is revealed that he has blue feathers for hair. In despair, Waz retreats into a homogenous grey world of compliance. Finally, he is rescued by Ela and her eclectic band of street performers and artists, and he discovers that being different is his superpower.

Along the way, the audience is treated to some truly remarkable solo, duo, and group acts. Early in the show, a group performs a dizzying jump rope routine with glowing ropes, and later a group of trampoline artists demonstrates what can best be described as parkour on steroids. The athletes flip high in the air over buildings and scaffolding.

One of the most notable solo acts is Danila Bim, who spins and contorts high above the stage suspended by her hair. Aerialist Pawel Walczewski’s lofty flying ballet in a flashback to Waz’s childhood is another special moment.

But it is the ensemble acts that most clearly convey the emotions of excitement, support, and individual freedom that are the essence of street sport. The show culminates with BMX riders swooping up the ramps of a full BMX park constructed on the Volta stage. Riders perform twisting tricks high in the air and pass each other in a perfectly coordinated dance to land back on the steep ramps.

As in many other Cirque shows, Volta includes humorous interludes with masterful clown acts. In one scene, Mr. Wow has a nightmare about fighting with washing machines. The act is funny and fits the urban feel of the rest of the show.

An epic score written by Anthony Gonzalez of M83, a French electronic music project, enhances the action of Volta. The music is played by a live band and sung by a talented group of vocalists.

Cirque de Soliel’s Volta will be performing under the Big Top at Atlantic Station (241 20th Street, Atlanta, GA 30363) through January 5, 2020. Tickets start at $49 and are available on the Cirque de Solielwebsite.

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