Cirque du Soleil’s art is magic

LUZIA Cirque du Soleil

My many-years-single-working-woman daughter treated us once again – a little late but in honor of Single Working Women’s Week – to a performance of the Cirque du Soleil at United Center in Chicago. Well, in the parking lot of the United Center, because the show requires such specialized equipment and rigging – due to the many extraordinarily imaginative features it includes – that they can’t set it up inside the building. They have to bring their own tents and equipment.

Imagine: a wall of water, falling from 60 feet above and not splashing the audience at all because of the carefully designed landing space on the elevated platform stage. Imagine safety railings that flip out from the edge of the circular stage so that no audience members are in danger of being struck by the wildly swinging platforms from which acrobats fly into the air and land across the stage with an ease that belies the disciplined agility of their efforts.

The physiques of the acrobats are inspiring. The women, scultped to perfection by their rigorous training and diligent practice. The men, muscular beyond any ordinary body – the contortionist so flexible it’s creepy, the strong man so intensely muscled that he can hold himself up by two ropes with both arms extended straight out. Unbelievable.

The clown is nothing like the old-fashioned image of a painted nose and big shoes doing stupid things. This clown is a central figure in the adventure of the story of LUZIA, this year’s 2017 Cirque du Soleil show. His antics are amusing and intelligent.

The sight that most awed me was the bigger-than-life-sized horse “puppet” made of pierced-metal, sculpted into real-horse parts with joints that were fully articulated – providing the priceless beauty of motion that only the body of a horse displays. The horse was operated by three dressed-in-black people inside the animal. Remarkably, their visible presence did not deter us from fully enjoying the animal in action. So lifelike. So beautiful. And the mane, flowing in the breeze. I’d love to meet the team that made this creature.

Anyway, the costumes, the lighting, the staging, the characters and the story in this show are well worth the money they charge for tickets. If you’re never seen a Cirque du Soleil performance – this is our second, and we are in love with the thing – save up if you have to. It’s a show you will remember for a long time – great place to go with a single friend to celebrate Single Working Women’s Day or Week. Or any time. The show is touring around the globe.

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The circle of life – the mother in us all

Women. Mothers. Single women as mothers. The nurturing qualities for which women are justly celebrated are not distributed in equal degrees. But regardless of what kind of mother you yourself are so far–or hope to be–you have a mother of your own. And there’s no human connection like the one between mother and child. Even when fraught with pain, it is yet the most powerful bond on earth.

Tomorrow is a day to celebrate the mother in us all. Let us stand together on this day. For just a moment, close your eyes and imagine you’re holding hands with every other woman on earth–imagine your neighbor, your coworker, your friend, your sister, aunt, cousin, your mom (even if she’s not here). Feel in your sister’s hands the warmth of her love for you, feel the energy of your friend’s pains and joys passing to your fingers. Send your coworker the peace you feel in a tender moment with someone you love, feel tension and pain ebb away in the shared warmth of your hands touching.

Feel the strength you pass between you, the courage you celebrate in each other, the laughter and the tears you share with all these other women. And just for a moment, know with absolute certainty that we are all in this together.

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