See many more pictures of Cirque's spectacle in our slideshow.
OVO is literally abuzz under the Grand Chapiteau at the Sam Houston Race Park. Cirque Du Soleil's new touring show emerges from the ecosystem of the insect life forms--full of leaping grasshoppers, floating moths, dancing fleas and musical cockroaches.
With 27 major productions under its belt, Cirque Du Soleil is turning 25. There's no denying the company's status as a cultural icon, however OVO is anything but routine. Writer, director and choreographer Deborah Colker describes the show as "full of energy and movement." Rarely is there a moment of singularity. While solo acts burgeon in the foreground, there's a supporting chorus of buzzing, chirping and humming bugs creeping around the edge of the circular stage (and down the seating aisles).
Crawling out from underneath the footlights and flying upwards of 40 feet above the stage, OVO unfolds in an ever-morphing environment. Gringo Cardia, OVO's set and prop designer, likes to think of his sets as "more than mere decoration." The scenery is interactive and integral to the long lineup of acrobatic, aerial and trapeze acts. Straying from literal representations, Liz Vandals's costumes re-imagine each insect with a generous helping of shimmer and adornment, resulting in charismatic, evocative creatures.(Video by Erica Love and Taylor Turner)
Comic interludes by main characters Flipo, the Lady Bug and the Foreigner (Simon Charles Bradbury, Michelle Matlock and Barthélémy Glumineau) keep the audience laughing in between the awe-inspiring hand-balancing of the Dragon Fly (Vladimir Hrynchenko), the heart-racing feats of the flying-trapeze Scarabs and the astonishing flexibility of the contortionist Spider (Svetlana Belova). These performers play it up for the audience and truly enjoy the applause.
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With a new spectacle waiting around every corner, OVO is a fun and lively revel sure to be irresistible to all audiences.
(Through April 10, Sam Houston Raceway, 7575 N Sam Houston Pkwy W)