RIYADH: Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular “Bazzar” stage show, which had its premier 12 months ago in India, arrived in Saudi Arabia on Friday to kick off a five-week run as part of Riyadh Season.
As the opening-night audience entered the purpose-built white tent at Riyadh Front, they were transported to an acrobatic world of fantasy and imagination.
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The action on stage takes place as part of a story revolving around three main characters: The Maestro, who is the leader of troupe of performers, a mysterious “Floating Woman,” and a trainee “Mini Maestro,” who is in love with her. The three acrobats who play these characters fluttered across the stage performing mid-air flips and other impressive moves, to gasps of awe from the audience.
When Lauren Joy Herley, who plays the Floating Woman, told Arab News this week that her character is a rebellious trickster, she was not exaggerating.
She spent an entire act of the show tormenting the Maestro, poking and prodding him while performing stunt after stunt flawlessly, prompting the crowd to giggle at her antics.
The Maestro, however, was not an easy target for her or the Mini Maestro, as he continued to lead the acrobats and musicians on stage throughout the show, casting a spell over them — and the audience.
The crowd also enjoyed an interlude that included a trick cyclist, feats of strength performed on wooden poles, a trapeze act and hula hoop displays.
The music was supplied by a three-piece band that delivered strong, captivating vocals, soulful melodies and energetic pop tunes as the Maestro orchestrated the glittering, colorful action, to the delight of the crowd.
After the performance, Waleed Al-Bassam, a die-hard fan, said that he had been to Cirque du Soleil shows before, but it was great to have the chance to see one in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s really nice,” he said. “I like the setup and how people are interacting; it gives a sense that something different is happening here in Riyadh.”
Khulood Khaled who attended the show said she enjoyed the interactive elements of the show, which she hadn’t expected. She added: “I’m honestly so surprised at how people are reacting — they’re loving it.”
Al-Ghala Al-Dawood, 17, who was particularly impressed by the hula hoop performer.
“It made me think of physics and everything I learned in school,” she said. “He (the performer) was defying physics. It’s a new experience. I’ve never seen anything like it in Riyadh.”
“Bazzar” is Cirque du Soleil’s 43rd touring show. Performances continue in Riyadh until December 7, after which the show will move on to the Caribbean.