Varekai (Cirque du Soleil)

Varekai-logoI’ve been wanting to go to Cirque du Soleil again, since we saw Ka in Las Vegas several years ago. When I saw the Bus Ads for Varekai at the Canadian Tire Centre here in Ottawa I made sure to get tickets so we wouldn’t miss out! The show has been touring worldwide since 2006 and had done an impressive 4500 (plus) shows to date, so I was sure it would be worth the price of admission.

I wanted to know what was going on during the show, at least as much as you can at a Cirque du Soleil performance, so I did some reading before attending. My research explained that the show was about the forest that Icarus lands after his fall from the sky. Varekai means “wherever” and the show features upbeat music in the Romani spirit. Each act would pretty much be the creatures playing around, and Icarus experiencing the wonder of it all.

Jessica-Ripley-Canadian-Tire-CentreWe pre-paid for parking, and were able to easily park and enter. We went the afternoon show, and got there at doors open. We quickly found our seats, and settled in. The show started with some clowns warming up the crowd by interacting with the front row audience members.

All of the acts were fun to watch. Normally in shows like this my favorite acts are the aerial ones, but this one had a beautiful “Slippery Surface” act that I couldn’t get enough of. Icarus got to play in a “pond” with lots of colorful water creatures, who seemed to glide across stage while they do partner and group acrobatics. The Russian Swing act in the finale was also spectacular and full of action. Either one of the acts could have lasted 10 times longer and I would have been a happy camper.

I adored the music, and I did not realize during the show that it was performed live, even though I saw the musicians on stage! They have the soundtrack available for purchase, which I intend to buy. I also enjoyed the bright, colorful, and practically gender neutral costumes.


I personally could have done without the clown acts. The forest creature acts were so immersive, and it was jolting to go back to the “here and now” with a magician and his assistant. I also didn’t particularly find their acts funny.

I love Cirque du Soleil. The world-class entertainers give a performance that strikes awe and amazement in us. It reminds me of when I was young and we’d go to the Ringling Brothers Circus… but Cirque du Soleil does not have the animal rights issues, which makes it much easier to enjoy. It is always hard for me to justify ticket prices, but I did not regret the purchase, as it gave a few wonderful hours of getting lost in amazement, in a way that simple movies just can’t do. I’d go again, and I look forward to the next show I get to attend!