Get lost in Varekai. Yes, lost in a very good way.

When it was first announced that Cirque du Soleil’s “Varekai” was going to tour Manila in June-July, I did not hesitate to coerce enjoin prod encourage my friends to purchase tickets and catch the show that falls on my birthday. We had purchased our tickets pretty much days from when they opened the ticket booth, thinking that it was best to do so in order to get good seats.

Of course, we never regretted any of it.

“Varekai”, which translates to “wherever” in the Romany language presents a “What if?” picture of Icarus, after falling from the sky. He lands inside a volcano that is filled with magical creatures that eventually teach him how to fly once more.

And what magic was created.

To be able to experience a Cirque du Soleil production is quite a treat. The show in itself was a feast for the senses, combining acrobatic performances and skills with acting, dance, live music, brilliantly crafted costumes, lighting, and a healthy sprinkle of old fashioned comedy—it draws you into an imaginary world where anything is possible, and regularly calling your attention once more to the fact that this is a circus (perhaps a new translation of what it means to suspend one’s disbelief).

Equally remarkable is that Varekai also draws inspiration from various cultures and integrates such in its various acts, such as the Georgian dance (not Persian, as my friend thought) and the Water Meteors, which looked to me were performed by three Chinese kids against Chinese-sounding background music. I liked the aerial hoop and the hand-balancing on canes, largely because they reminded me of all the artistic and rhythmic gymnastics performances I used to watch back in the 90s. However, I’d have to say, the Russian wheels with the “Fire Boys” were the perfect way to cap the show (also helps that some of them were cute, as we later found out). How many times can you scream at the apparent craziness of stunts?

All in all, it was a fantastic way to celebrate my 27th, and unfortunately, there are some times when only a blurred photo will suffice:

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