Photo Courtesy of OSA Images: Liz Vandal © 2009 Cirque du Soleil

Performers take on the identies of various insects in the 2009 performance of "OVO," which is coming to Cleveland on April 27.


April 19, 2016

Cirque du Soleil: Life, energy, depth

Cirque du Soleil is famous for its many acrobats performing beautiful choreography that tells an intriguing and moving story to a captivated audience.

That kind of performance is what people can expect of Cirque at the Wolstein Center April 27 to May 1, for their newest performance, “OVO.”

Deborah Colker, writer, director and choreographer and Cirque du Soleil’s first female director, has taken inspiration from the world of insects to create a story full of life and energy.

According to Cirque du Soleil's homepage, the plot of the show is “a non-stop riot of energy in motion. The awestruck insects are intensely curious when a mysterious egg appears, representing the enigma and cycles of their lives.”

The message behind the show, as it is with every show Cirque performs, is that each show should be more than simply about the entertainment; each show should make people think about life and what can make it worth living.

Aruna Baata, a contortionist and hand balancer who has been with Cirque du Soleil since 2009 and with the “OVO” performance troupe since 2013, emphasized this message in an interview April 7.

“When they watch this, the music is so happy and the insects, the world of insects is so amazing,” Batta said. “People who actually watch are happy to be there. It shows that everybody is capable of falling in love, having a good laugh and getting depressed.”

In the upcoming performance Baata plays the white spider, who she describes as “very sensual.”

“She is more evil, you could say, than the others,” Baata said. “She acts like the queen of the spiders pretty much. So she has the power of tasking and commanding the black and red spiders.”

“She likes to seduce the other insects with her sexuality," she noted. “She’s very playful in that matter.”

Baata said it takes at least an hour and a half to apply makeup and costumes and for performers to warm up before each show. The troupe also spends two to three months preparing a show before taking it on tour.

“When we create the show, we change everything every day because we come up with so many different ideas,” she said. “I guess we try the best way to create the choreography and the way we want to introduce the choreography along with the movement of the insects to the audience.”

While performing, Baata said the most important thing going through her mind is not only the spacing of the stage, but how the performers will try to interact with the audience as much as possible.

“In my mind, we are very focused on what we are doing,” she said. “We are very cautious about out performances, but also I like to play with the audience and see how they are going to react.”

Tickets start at $37 and can be purchased at Cirque du Soleil’s website, or at


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