Cirque du Soleil has become synonymous with Sin City. With seven productions settled into ongoing runs at separate Las Vegas hotels – and an eighth on the way when Cirque's Michael Jackson-themed show opens at the Mandalay Bay in 2013 – the Montreal-based circus extraordinaire holds the elite reputation of putting on the shows Vegas visitors must see.
With that in mind, choosing the most amazing acts from the spectrum of Cirque's Las Vegas titles is a juggling challenge worth of a French-Canadian acrobat. But, after combing through the seven successful nightly shindigs, Crave Online serves up The Top 10 Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas Moments:
1) “Pursuit” from KA at the MGM Grand
KA feels like the most epic of Cirque’s Vegas offerings, and this number is the action-packed highlight of the show. This mix of battle and chase features acrobats deftly maneuvering all around the show’s vertical Sand Cliff Deck Stage. A gantry crane can lift the Sand Cliff Deck 72 feet, rotate 360 degrees and tilt from flat to 110 degrees — all at the same time. The deck is powered by five 250-horsepower pumps and a 4,000-gallon oil reservoir.
2) “Man on Fire” from O at The Bellagio
The title says it all. Ray Wold, an original cast member with the show who hasn't missed a performance in the last 12 1/2 years (or 6,000 + performances) burns before your eyes in an artistic way that only Cirque can serve up. He spends about 2 1/2 minutes in a full body burn per show.
3) “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” from The Beatles Love at The Mirage
The trippier, psychedelic era of The Beatles’ career serves Cirque do Soleil’s ethereal style perfectly. So, when John Lennon sings, “Climb in the back with your head in the clouds…And you're gone,” that’s the cue for the titular, beautiful aerial performer to soar through the theater – end to end and back again – at a speed rarely seen in even a Cirque show.
4) “The Wheel of Death” from KA at the MGM Grand
The second entry from the MGM’s massive offering feature’s that show’s jump rope acrobats maintaining their speed rope rhythm while spinning in huge rotating cages high above the stage. Not only do the performers keep their ropes spinning, the momentum of their jumping rotates the cages.
5) “One Night with You” from Viva Elvis at The Aria
The original Elvis Presley hit was intended as a passionate love song from a man dreaming of just one night alone with the object of his desire. But, Viva Elvis, the massively entertaining tribute to Presley, transforms the song into a lament for Elvis’ still born twin brother, Jesse Garon. As Elvis pleads for just one night playing with the brother he never knew, two acrobats swing from a huge guitar suspended high above the stage. The song is a duet between Presley and a female singer who symbolizes Elvis' mother, serenading the son she lost. The whole effect is one of Cirque’s more moving moments.
6) “The Hoops” from Zumanityat New York, New York
Perhaps the best marriage of dance, acrobatics and sexiness from Cirque’s sensual adult show, the incredibly lithe and lean hoop artist Julia Kolosova combines her hips with her aerial skills to keep countless rings rotating from stage to ceiling.
7) “Help!” from The Beatles Love at The Mirage
Love: Four fab inline skaters in matching mop-tops roll into an intricately choreographed skate ramp number set to The Beatles song, Help. Not only does it play out almost faster than the eye can take it in, but the joyful celebration of the band’s earlier sound offers a upbeat change of pace during the show.
8) “Got A Lot of Livin‘ to Do”from Viva Elvis at The Aria
The King loved comic books and claims that he always imagined himself as the hero in any comic. To celebrate that, Viva Elvisoffers this trampoline number inspired by street acrobatics. Seven acrobats in stylized, masked superhero costumes defy gravity in a “cavalcade of synchronized jumps, leaps and bounces.”
9) “Hand to Hand” from Mystere at Treasure Island
While many of Cirque’s big Vegas involved massive production values and sensory stunning visuals, this is a return to the simpler, earlier days of Cirque as two male performers display feats of acrobatic strength, balance and coordination as they defy physics with their various tandem poses.
10) “Motorcycle” from Criss Angel Believe at Luxor
Believe is the only Vegas Cirque show not built around an original Cirque performer. Criss Angel’s production is a departure from other shows in the line as it deals primarily with illusion, and this moment might be the most impressive trick in the program. For the motorcycle illusion, Angel makes a motorcycle appear onstage out of thin air. It’s obviously high-tech trickery, but it kills the audience every time.
Photo credit – Richard Termine