Last night, my husband and I went to our first Cirque du Soleil performance, Luzia. David has wanted to go for years, decades even, but we just haven’t ever gotten our act together and bought tickets. Until this month.
We’ll be keeping our act together a lot more in the future.
I had some impressions (totally false) of what I thought it would be like. David used to watch performances on TV, when we had cable, and I would sit in for a few minutes and watch, but I could never follow it. I thought I had to understand the storyline (writer, much?), and I was always struggling to do that. Then the camera would either zoom in on one person (who might or might not be doing the most fascinating thing, from my pov), or would pan out and be showing you the whole stage, and–I’m sorry–that is nuts. There is NO way to follow what’s going on across the whole stage and up in the air. David is much more visual than I am (really, if there aren’t written words in front of me, I often just don’t get the point), so I always figured that my non-visual brain wouldn’t really get it. I bought the tickets for my husband, because, yes, I’m that nice.
Last night, when the show was done, I thanked HIM for coming with ME. 🙂
At some levels, the show was simply amazing. The things these people could do–the guy who spun on a strap above a water pool, with one shoulder “in” the strap, flipping (with that shoulder as the pivot point) over and over and around and around. While I wasn’t just staring, I was (I’ll admit it) thinking about all the shoulder surgery waiting for him down the line. The young man who was essentially a contortionist, getting into yoga-like positions where you honestly couldn’t tell which way (for him) was up and which was down, left or right. The acrobats flipping from swinging platform to swinging platform, doing spins and somersaults in the air. If it was supposed to help my stress levels that the platforms were relatively close to the ground, then they shouldn’t have let their acrobats jump so high before coming back down!
At another level, I loved the parallels to a more traditional circus (although I can’t honestly remember if I’ve even been to one of those). The guy with the shoulder was doing all his flips and twirls over and around a puma, I think, a puma “costume” that had been built for the show, then placed on top of the shoulders of performers, who made it walk and growl and purr and ask to be scratched in a totally cat-like way. This were the big-cat show. The hair was long and straight, and he swung it around in the way a “regular” lion-tamer would crack his whip. This was SO much nicer than seeing that whip and real animals being “tamed.” And there was a clown. Not a scary clown, not a clown with a red nose and big feet, not an irritating clown. But a clever, funny clown who had all the kids and all the adults laughing in sympathy with him whenever he showed up on stage. When the rainfall that was coming from the ceiling kept moving around so he couldn’t catch any water to fill his canteen, the little girl next to me kept saying things like, “Over there! Get it! No, over there!” That’s how engaged she was.
But the best level? The one that I needed so much last night and hadn’t even realized I did need. The utter delight. When I wasn’t gripping my husband’s arm and holding my breath until somebody landed safely, I was grinning and smiling without even realizing it. The rhythm of the dancers as they flipped through rings on the big treadmill, the energy of the two young women who spun themselves in big hoops for minutes on end, the grinning musicians with their tuba and their accordion and their guitar, the people wearing costumes that simulated animals from Mexico (oh, the woman’s cape that spread out to be an iguana!), the movement and the balance and the grace and the joy. My hands kept moving to cover my mouth–my husband thought I was scared the whole time, I think (although that’s just silly, because scared=gripping his arm!), but what I was, was happy.
There has been so much crap lately, we are all so stressed, and we all know it’s going to go on for a while. Stay aware, stay committed, stay active. But, oh, yes, schedule times to bring joy and amazement back into your life. Step out of the anger and worry and find something that will fill your brain with energy and smiles. Maybe it is a Cirque du Soleil performance. Maybe it’s something else. You know best what it will be–just go get some on your calendar!