Flying high at Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta

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Flying high at Cirque Du Soleil’s Volta

Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Photo Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Ilene Morrisette and Vidhima Shetty

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Cirque Du Soleil’s new show, Volta, recently came to San Francisco, and has flipped its way into our hearts.  

Volta is described by Cirque Du Soleil as “. . .a captivating voyage of discovery that showcases never-before-seen under the Big Top acrobatics in a visually striking world.”

The show follows main character, Waz, and his journey for self discovery and acceptance. It embraces the theme of “ultimate freedom coming with self-acceptance, and with the liberation of the judgement of others.”

Waz’s journey includes his struggle of setting himself apart from a group of synchronized performers dressed in all gray, cleverly known as “the grays,” who were a metaphor for the people that adhere to society’s norms. They appeared to be glued to their electronic devices and were submissive to conformity.

As the only individual with electric blue hair, Waz’s desire to become famous is subverted by his initial desire to “fit in” and seek love and acceptance from those surrounding him. However, Waz learns to overcome his insecurities, to look inwards and move forward. Such a journey that was accompanied by characters filled with emotion and unparalled acrobatics underscored the message of the performance.

When we arrived in San Francisco on January 6, it was raining heavily. But perhaps it was the rain that accentuated the several classic big-top style tents that captured everyone’s attention. The down side to this, though, was that the already undesirable portapotties were all but flooded.

The show took place in the largest of the four tents, with the audience being seated in a semi-circle around the circular center stage. This made the whole atmosphere reminiscent of classic circus shows. Especially because you could bring your snacks to your seat.

While watching the various acts in Volta, we thought “We can do that,” but then we remembered that walking to the third floor makes students wheeze. And much like the stairs, the show itself was breathtaking.

It consisted of rope skipping, which included at least five performers doing headstands and various jumps while managing to not get caught in the rope, BMX tricks, various trampoline stunts, and aerial silks tricks.

Seeing people do the unthinkable like ladder acrobatics or dances floating through the air while suspended from a ceiling lamp made us feel like kids again. We felt the same magic and infatuation with the stunts as we did when we were younger.

That said, Volta was a show that brought out the kid in all of us. There was an older woman sitting close by who was having the time of her life, applauding excitedly after every  act.

As such, it can certainly be agreed that Volta made for the perfect family show. There were many families there with both their kids and grandparents. Though children may not have understood the deeper meaning of the show in terms of morals and story arch, they still would have found it incredibly entertaining.

Though the show itself was like any other, it’s concession stand prices could give Disneyland a run for its money. Popcorn with a free refill cost 12 dollars, a cotton candy cost nine dollars, and an order of nachos cost 10 dollars, with extra cheese or salsa being two dollars.

Along with food, they also sold souvenir hats, water bottles, and T-shirts. A show for the pamphlet would also set you back about 20 dollars.

Depending on location, seat prices start between 54 and 49 dollars, however, they were offering seat upgrades before the show for 10 dollars.