Audrey J. Bernard

*Over on the secluded Randall’s Island Park sits an enormous blue-and-yellow big top that took more than 60 people to hoist over 100 steel poles from the ground up to put together.  Upon completion stood The Grand Chapiteau (The Big Top), 66 feet high, 167 feet in diameter and supported by 4 masts, each 80 feet tall.

The fabulous pergola seats more than 2,500 people in a climate-controlled environment and is the centerpiece of the Cirque du Soleil Village that houses the Tapis Rouge VIP tent, entrance and artistic tents, box office, administrative offices and a kitchen and dining area for cast and crew that travels from city to city in 50 tractor trailers.

The Big Top will be the home to a limited engagement of OVO, the latest big top touring production from Cirque du Soleil, through Sunday, June 6, 2010.  The name OVO means “egg” in Portuguese and it mirrors the life cycle and birth of numerous insects that represents the underlying thread of the show.  Graphically, OVO hides an insect in its name: the two “O” letters represent the eyes while the letter “V” forms the nose.

Cirque du Soleil OVO album artwork

The Opening Night of OVO took place on Friday, April 9.  The fantasy evening began with a beautiful ferry ride over to the park to the trademark tent for performances of the famous Cirque du Soleil’s newest production . . . OVO.  What followed was an exquisite wonderment of unforgettable proportions.

OVO is a show filled with spine-tingling acts led for the first time in Cirque du Soleil history by female director and famous choreographer Deborah Colker who has cleverly integrated thrill filled dance movements into many of the acts in the show.

The show begins its enigmatic flight of the imagination with an egg that appears on stage out of nowhere attracting the curiosity of awestruck insects.  It’s the beginning of a love affair between a whacky looking insect and a magnificent ladybug.

OVO is a colorful ecosystem filled with life where some of the most beautiful but wacky insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.  The insects’ home is a world of biodiversity and beauty filled with noisy action and moments of quiet emotion.

OVO artists at work

During the two hour show, the audience experiences an out-of-body trip down the light fantastic featuring eye-popping beauty and gyrating insects that bounce off walls and fly through the air with the greatest of ease and luminescence.

OVO is a feast of artistic grandeur for the audience who’s transported into an existence filled with amazing wonder orchestrated to unbelievable sounds created by ethereal musicians.  It makes for great family fun.  It’s OVOlicious!

The obsequious rhythms behind OVO – a musical fusion of Brazilian sounds and Cirque du Soleil – are melodiously captivating.  Now Soleilistas can continue to enjoy OVO’s music long after leaving the Big Top on the latest Cirque du Soleil album recently released on April 27, 2010.

Composer Berna Ceppas along with co-producer Alain Vinet capture the quintessence of the pulsating performances with vibrant Brazilian influences on a CD.  The music is an eclectic mixture of samba sounds from the Amazon to the carnival streets of Rio de Janeiro, with electronic beats from cool white Montreal winters.

The results — chill-out melodies and yet energized butterfly flights!  With its sampled insect sounds, big band flair and percussion-heavy rhythms, OVO will let you truly experience the essence of the live show performance and spirit.  (Photos courtesy Cirque du Soleil)

Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.

Cirque du Soleil Big Top raising on Randall's Island

Cirque du Soleil OVO artists