Cirque du Soleil’s OVO


Cirque du Soleil holds a pretty prominent position in my family’s conversations.

My sister has just returned with her little family from a year’s stint overseas with the Saltimbanco troupe. She’s been calling the show (that’s theatreese for what the Stage Manager does) all through Europe and the Middle East. Her husband will re-join the company next week (in Italy!), after his short tour break here, to continue his role in the tech department until the show closes, after 20 sell-out years, in December.

I should mention that they’ve toured 27 countries with 3 young children!

We all want to run off and join the circus but this family actually did it!


Speaking of family, I know that my dad will absolutely love Cirque’s newest Australian touring production, OVO. He’s an Entomologist. And quite the Drama King. A presentation he gave at a conference in New Zealand was titled:

Managing avocado pests with romance, intrigue and war –

integrating pheromones, assassins and weapons of mass destruction

Who knew the enemies of the avocados could be so fascinating?

He does love a good eco-drama. And the circus. But then, who doesn’t?!

THIS circus – Cirque du Soleil –  is for everyone! The whole family!

And Queenslanders get to experience it first. Brisbane will host the Australian premiere season of the critically-acclaimed and family-friendly big top production OVO, under the trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau (big top) at Northshore Hamilton, with the 2012-2013 national tour then moving to Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.

Portuguese for “egg”, 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.  When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object, which represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.

When a gawky, quirky insect arrives in this bustling community and a fabulous ladybug catches his eye it’s love at first sight!

The cast of OVO is comprised of 55 performing artists from 14 countries specialising in many acrobatic acts. A highlight of OVO is the stunning Flying Act in which a group of scarabs soar high above the stage, from both edges to the middle landing on a platform. This breathtaking act combines many circus disciplines: banquine, Russian swing and swinging chair.

The Creative Team behind the world of OVO is:  Artistic Guides Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix; Writer, Director and Choreographer Deborah Colker (first female director at Cirque du Soleil); Director of Creation Chantal Tremblay; Set and props Designer Gringo Cardia; Costume Designer Liz Vandal; Composer and Musical Director Berna Ceppas; Lighting Designer Éric Champoux; Sound Designer Jonathan Deans; Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer hting Designer éclairagesa creative team for the first time at Cirque du Soleilerms of distance between stations.Fred Gérard;  Acrobatic Performance Designer Philippe Aubertin; and Makeup Designer Julie Bégin. 

Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organisation providing high-quality artistic entertainment.

The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries.

Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents.


Brisbane – From July 14 2012, Northshore Hamilton


HOT TIP: book the VIP Rouge Experience – especially if it’s your first time – which offers you premium seating and the complete VIP experience.

I wouldn’t see a Cirque show any other way!


8 Responses to “Cirque du Soleil’s OVO”

  1. May 28, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    I’m urging everyone I know to boycott Ovo since unlike Cirque’s previous engagements (Quidam, Alegría, Satimbanco), it’s devoid of the exquisite theatrical elements that has distinguished Cirque du Soleil as an avant-garde entertainment company. In terms of circus Ovo maintains the image of an acrobatic superpower, but the theatrical elements are about as cohesive and sophisticated as a pre-school talent show.

    • May 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm

      That’s too bad, Samuel. I would have thought that, as a theatre lover and a perfectly fair and honest reviewer yourself, you would in fact be encouraging people to see the show and judge for themselves, the merits of its theatrical elements. I appreciate that your relationship with Cirque du Soleil is a “love/hate” one but that’s no reason to slag a show that the other punters might enjoy. I hope the next Cirque show we see is more to your liking and in the meantime, I’m confident that this one will be the hit predicted! x

      • 3 Samuel B
        May 31, 2012 at 12:00 am

        I’m also sure this one will be a hit, and will no doubt be received even better than previous productions that have toured Australia due to their ‘critically-acclaimed’ brand recognition and the dubious billing for ‘family-fun’. However I firmly believe that a Cirque show that neglects many of the core foundations that the company was built on isn’t worthy of being included in the Soleil brand . . . but I’m keen to hear your thoughts and I honestly can’t wait for some further discussion in July!

  2. 4 Jeff
    June 1, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    OVO is garbage. Entirely too literal and full of embarrassing choreography and weak directing. Even the acrobatic acts are, in general, on the lower end of the Cirque spectrum. It caters to the lowest common denominator and the general public is sure to love it, but it is NOT the worthwhile theatre that many other Cirque shows are.

    • 5 Citry Peough
      June 6, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Better sit down, Sam & Jeff, because you’re about to get a huge shock. Ready? “Cirque” is French for CIRCUS! NOT theatre, CIRCUS. A CIRCUS is not meant to tell a story – but who (aside from pompous dilettanti) cares? The basic idea is to to dazzle the spectators with the artists’ skill and daring. CdS throws in some eye and ear candy – production values – but it is still a showcase of world-class performances. I saw Ovo in Montreal a few years ago, and it became one of my favorite CdS shows. Not plays, CIRCUS SHOWS. If it’s choreography you want, go to a ballet. If it’s acting and directing, just pop into a moviehouse. And it’s a story you want, buy a book.

      • June 6, 2012 at 10:51 am

        Delicious. I knew we’d have a good discussion over this.

        Better sit down, and do some research, Citry Peough, because if you did you’d find that Cirque was founded (after they couldn’t afford animals, I’ll give you that) on a basis that they believed their works would re-define nouveau circus through a character-driven, story based theatrical approach. So everything you said about ‘Cirque’ meaning just circus and the production values being superfluous eye candy is incorrect.

        Your comments seem to imply that a circus show is not capable of evoking long lasting emotions, but Cirque’s mission statement is to “Invoke, provoke and evoke”, and it has done so in dozens of shows that toured the globe for over 20 years. The best example would be Quidam, which toured Australia in 2005. Through an exquisite musical score, incredible acrobatics and ingenious technical elements, the piece told the story of a neglected child who voyages around her world while being accompanied by characters that represent countless meanings and messages. In addition to maintaining their image as an acrobatic superpower, each act is replete with Dragone’s signature surrealistic imagery, exploring a story that communicates (to name a few) the father’s obsession with work, exploring her sexuality, and her mother’s suicide. This is just one of many Cirque shows that have gone above and beyond the ‘basic idea’ (whoever defined that as a term) and can imprint a long lasting emotion which causes the audience member to be moved beyond words.

        On your logic, I’d argue if it’s a CIRCUS SHOW! you want, pay $28 and go see Circus Oz, a smaller-scale company who execute a very similar standard of acrobatics and entertainment, and only really add minor production values to draw their work together under a loose theme – at least they don’t claim otherwise. If it’s avant-garde, nouveau circus which is formed to summon emotions (like what Cirque claims to do), while simultaneously utilising incredible production values, go and see Cirque du Soleil.

        Except Ovo contradicts everything the company stands for in the last sentance, and that’s why I’m dead set on telling everyone to avoid it. If it’s just a CIRCUS SHOW! you’re after, skip the $400+ for VIP tickets to Ovo and pay $22 to see Casus’ Knee Deep at Judith Wright, and experience genuinely honest and emotionally engaging nouveau circus.

      • 7 Jeff
        June 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm

        I’ll concur with Sam on the price point. Ovo in Los Angeles was selling non-VIP tickets for up to USD$160 apiece. That’s not a price comparable to any other “circus” company and in fact puts it squarely in line with top-tier theatre in New York. Cirque set a brand expectation in the 90s and early 00s of a new breed of circus that told its story through theatricality and extraordinary human feats. Ovo is simply human feats, and not even among the company’s best. I feel well qualified to have that opinion as I have seen every current Cirque du Soleil show in the world except their most recent touring show which just opened in April.

        And if it’s choreography, or (to some extent) acting, or directing, or a story that I want, I’ll go see Quidam by Cirque du Soleil. It, along with some of their other older work, proves that the company was capable of satisfying what I’m looking for in live entertainment. Unfortunately most of their recent stuff just doesn’t do it for me and isn’t deserving of the price premium the brand has come to demand.

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