Making the Grades
The Canadian group Cirque du Soleil began entertaining audiences in 1984 with a mix of circus and street performance acts. Since then the troupe has outdone itself time and again with new shows featuring incredible acrobatics and feats of agility.
Now the group teams up with Titanic and Avatar director James Cameron for a 3D theatrical presentation. While the filmmakers suggest this movie has a plot, it’s nothing more than a marketing ploy. The extent of the story involves Mia (Erica Linz), a young circus visitor who locks eyes with a high-flying aerialist (Igor Zaripov). When he falls down an Alice in Wonderland-like hole into another dimension, Mia follows in hopes of finding him. Her journey takes her through an array of tents with incredible sets and spectacular performances featuring troupe members from the Circus Marvelous.
Routines, including a sensual performance by a contortionist who tumbles around in the water of a clear hot tub-like container, a clown engulfed in flames, a group of extremely flexible women and synchronized swimmers, highlight the actors’ flexibility and athletic ability, but may not be suitable for all viewers. Some characters run around on huge gerbil exercise wheel-like contraptions and others execute choreographed fights high in the air. Yet of the many acts Mia experiences some seem too long or irrelevant to the limited plot.
And although stunning staging and eye-catching costumes provide ample visual stimulation in this 3D film, the camera work and editing sometimes make it difficult to fully appreciate the scope of the production. As well, being confined to theater seats unfortunately adds an element of detachment that ringside viewers won’t experience.
However if you aren’t ready to shell out the money for a live performance or the troupe doesn’t make a train stop in your location, Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away will still delight and amaze audiences who want to run away with the circus—if only for a couple of hours.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away.
What athletic abilities do these characters display? How difficult would it be to do many of these feats without grimacing or shaking? What kind of preparation and training would these performers have to undergo?
What was your favorite act in the movie? Why did it impress you?
Learn more about this traveling circus here: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/welcome.aspx