Before I left for Korea, I celebrated my 22nd birthday and my dad took me to go see Cirque du Soliel’s Kooza in Washington DC. It was a pretty amazing show. So when I found out Varekai was playing in Jamsil for almost the entire month of May, I decided to had to go. It had been a while since I had been able to any kind of show or big entertainment so this would be a nice farewell to Korea.
I ended up going with Karen, a friend I trained with who had recently returned to Korea to teach at Yeongtong’s April branch, her boyfriend, Brandon and a Korean friend of theirs (who bought the tickets for us). Karen had seen Cirque du Soliel before but Brandon had missed it and I don’t think their friend had seen it either.
Even if circus or performance art isn’t your thing, Cirque is a pretty unique experience. The tents (at least in my two experiences) are small so even if you have seats in the back you can still see everything. The performances are like a mixture of classic circus acts and these crazy acrobatic stunts. It’s very impressive and seeing the more dangerous ones really do take your breath away. And the costumes are pretty crazy. The ones for Kooza were a little more traditional and clown-like but the Varekai costumes were just amazingly over the top. The performance we saw (apparently there are differnet versions) is a retelling of the story of Icarus where he crashes into an enchanted forest, so the costumes of the different creatures were really like something out of the imagination.
And luckily for us we were only four rows from the stage so we really got to see all the details. Probably the most amazing part of being that close, as Brandon pointed out, is that you can see what the performers doing the more intense acts go through. With so much going on during a performance, it’s guaranteed that they won’t do everything with 100% accuracy and when you’re really close you can see as performers start to get strained or loose their footing. But then you also get to see how the correct themselves.
And after that we meet up with another group of fellow teachers and went to get some Coldstone ice cream. All in all, it was a fantastic last weekend in South Korea.