We had the great pleasure of checkin' out Cirque Du
Soleil's Ovo not once, but twice, last week and we are
completely enamored. We've been fans of Cirque's
visually stunning shows, that push the boundaries of circus
arts, for years. We were particularly jazzed to
see Ovo, as Deborah Colker is Cirque du Soleil's
first female writer/director. We also think bugs are
pretty cool, too.
Du-Jay and I first saw the show on Tuesday and were
captivated by Ovo's magical microcosm of the insect world.
Although the weather was more Cirque Du Pleuvoir (or rain)
than sun, we stayed dry under the Seussian blue and yellow striped
big top, and had a great evening despite the drizzle.
Thursday we got to go back again with
CircEsteem and take Sagezilla, who was more
than ready to grab on to the silks and join up. The talented,
local CircEsteem kids will be providing the VIP tent entertainment
for this Thursday night's performance of Ovo!
Tomorrow we're very excited to be
interviewing Ovo's Artistic Director, Marjon van Grunsven
and Sébastien Savard, Ovo's violinist, who is on tour with his
family. We've been shooting a whole series of video
interviews on how creatives parent and how parents create.
It's a challenge to find a balance, but we believe that parenting
and doing creative work simultaneously, infuses each aspect with
the best qualities of the other, and enhances both.
Humans share our actual world with over 900 thousand
different types of insects, according to
Encyclopedia Smithsonian. And people, particularly
circus artists, have borrowed moves, costume designs and materials
from the insect world for centuries. It's about time we made
a celebration of the similarities.
In circus arts and the insect world, there's a common
vocabulary, with Spanish WEB and SILKS. We
thought the pairing of a silk worm carrying the silks to the
ceiling, culminating in a beautiful act where the moth hatches from
her silken cocoon and stretches her new wings, were genius.
We also adored the arachnids. Act 2 begins with an
impressive giant spider web, just begging to showcase circus web
The human/insect parallels don't end there.
Ovo's bug world is full of fight, flight, fun, love, work,
play, and basic need fulfillment. Over all there is
Ovo-the egg-symbol of life. Eggs in this show are coveted as
food, and protected as progeny. Glowing eggs are cradled and
cherished as future generations. And the very word,
ovo, pops out frequently from among the bugs'
The little red ants with their feet feats, were big fun.
They not only juggled giant kiwi slices, but also baby corn
and each other! Ovo also manages to make people laugh, and
we really dug that the geeky, spiky underdog gets the girl.
We were also thrilled that the show's love interest isn't some
dainty princess, waiting to be rescued, but a sizable power house
of a bug who rescues her man and is all about being
Our favorite acts for technical skill were the
slack wire and the grand finale wall. I have never
seen anyone attempt the slack wire feats we witnessed, and they
still don't seem like they should be humanly possible! We
had the great pleasure of checking out the urban tramp wall
Eloize-ID, in late April, and
were blown away. Yet Ovo brings something new to the table
with a hybrid tramp wall/climbing wall! Check out some
of Ovo's stunning performance videos
here. Cirque du Soleil remains state of the art, with
the budget to keep top performers, live musicians, and numerous
unique, world class productions on tour.
We're always impressed that the musicians are such an
integral part of the show, with a place of honor on the stage, not
hidden away in the depths of an orchestra pit. Cirque
shows original sound tracks are so good, they're released as
freestanding CDs. When the energy of the musicians and
actors and audience mix, it's pure, volatile magic.
Ovo has been criticized for playing more to the front
section than to the sides and that is a valid complaint, as the
tent space more resembles theatre in the round, or at least in a
deep U. Past Cirque shows we've seen did more of a well
rounded job of aiming acts to the sides.
That said, we saw the show from the 5th row center, which
was breathtaking, and from the very back center row, and that was
extremely cool, too. The sight lines are clear, even
from the back of the tent, and the higher seats provide a great
view of the light show, images projected on the tent roof and the
group choreography. Up close, the make up and costumes on the
insects were amazing. With a small, intimate space, there
are no far balcony seats or obstructed views, and everyone is drawn
into the action.
OVO is a headlong rush into a colourful ecosystem
teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play,
fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.
The insects' home is a world of biodiversity and beauty filled with
noisy action and moments of quiet emotion.
When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the
insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic
object that represents the enigma and cycles of their
It's love at first sight when a gawky, quirky insect
arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches
his eye - and the feeling is mutual.
OVO is overflowing with contrasts. The hidden, secret
world at our feet is revealed as tender and torrid, noisy and
quiet, peaceful and chaotic. And as the sun rises on a bright new
day the vibrant cycle of insect life begins anew.
"Cirque du Soleil turns bug's world upside-down
in spectacular OVO."
"Cirque du Soleil OVO: Bugging out extravagantly under
the big top." "OVO is the latest in a long and very
distinguished line that have been coming to Chicago for two
"An exotic insect world aims to delight
"Cirque achieves a fanciful illusion
"Cirque du Soleil 'OVO' delivers the unbelievable
" For two hours, the audience member slowly
becomes part of Cirque's world and will start to think that those
are real giant ants spinning real giantsfruits in the air
"OVO Presents lavish look at world of
"Cirque hatches visual stunner"
"OVO is an astonishing showcase of superhuman feats of
strength, balance and contortion"
"Cirque du Soleil OVO: an experience like no
Houston Style Magazine
If you're balking at the
ticket prices, there are discount options
available, and Ovo is a spectacle well worth the money.
Check into family 4 packs for as little as $150 for select shows or
join The Cirque Club for free and get 30% off on select seating for
all remaining performances. Ovo runs through August 23rd in
Bonnie Kenaz-Mara is a writer-photographer-potter-painter-actress-animal wrangler-general creatrix and Mama to two amazing kiddos.
See more of Bonnie's stories here.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.