Magical Sky Theater. Click photo.
Mystere, Cirque Du Soleil at the Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada is a spellbinding theatrical miracle for all ages.
Cirque du Soleil’s
Mystere at Treasure Island Hotel.
From the minute I took my seat, the pre-show comedic mimicry of Brian Le Petit, the tuxedo dressed clown, alerted me to expect the unexpected. His slightly dangerous antics, irreverent decorum and comedic timing made the arriving audience take their seats and immediately pay attention. When the house lights dimmed and the show began, I could feel my imagination being stretched beyond recognition. The infusion of colors, sounds, lighting and artistic awe inspiring movements awakened my soul to a new life that defied logic or reason.
Mystere’s flawless artistry rocked my understanding of science, art, and anatomy and changed my life forever. For ninety minutes, I sat on the edge of my seat enraptured with the plethora of sounds, the spectacle of human athleticism and the sensual pleasures that emanated from the sheer exuberance of being alive.
Being fully alive in the present moment is one of the most mesmerizing feats of the evening. I didn’t want to forget a movement, a sound or a costume design, but the spectacle was so all encompassing that it swept me away on a journey to the very heart of where my past, present and future merged, and all of my emotions converged.
The gallery of characters that commanded the stage was lovable, outrageous, and artistically stunning! The Clown, was like the child who breaks a toy to see how it works. His innocent mischief made the evening light and funny. The BABY, made us laugh with his disproportionate size, childish need for attention, and innocently dangerous curiosity. Moha-Samedi, the pink master of ceremonies and his puppet represented the accumulated knowledge of humanity since the beginning of time. He was the colorful fool who bears witness to the past and present while creating nothing. Red Bird was brilliant in appearance and acrobatic skills snapped up the energy of the show like sparks that fly in the wind. There are the Pets, birds who have forgotten how to fly, the Asticots, with their double faces that keep them hidden from the truth, the Giants, a gentle frivolous group of futile feathers and long legs, Stas, a mischievous imp, a thousand years old. And the Ancient Bird who’s joy of remembrance fills her movements with surprise and displays the mystery of memory.
The Chinese Poles.
These characters combined the artistic disciplines of gymnastics, dance, visual poetry, music, mime, and comedy with flawless timing and dramatic impact. My eyes opened wide as Paul Bowler took center stage and soared with passion and deep concentration as he stretched my understanding of the universe. He effortlessly turned and spun a neon lit cube while nonchalantly performing a gravity-defying ballet of breathtaking aerial moves. My stomach did flip flops as I wondered who was in control . . . the cube or the artist? It was a mystery.
The Chinese poles pushed the limits of human strength and anatomical form. This art form originated in China. The Cirque du Soleil troupe uses both men and women (which is unusual for this art form because in China women don’t perform on Chinese Poles). This gravity-defying act features two principal performers from China, who are life-long students of this discipline. They, along with twenty members of the colorful troupe slither and spring from pole to pole using only arm and leg power. Great upper body control and balance are essential. Their agility was awe-inspiring. Their double-faced masks created a stunning visual.
Then the lighting changed and before me appeared two brothers who performed a hand and body balancing act that is done on a rotating dome. The incredible exhibition of strength and stamina demanded impeccable precision and alignment as well as strength. Their two bodies moved as one as their maneuvers demonstrated perfect harmony. I sat amazed watching these two mighty physiques connected in gentile, fluid movements exuding a sensuality that captivated the entire audience as they applauded with appreciation.
Mystere is a
wonderful cast of characters.
When the applause died down and the lighting grew brighter, the Bungee aerialists appeared mysteriously before us. They were like majestic birds in flight as they flew through the air fearlessly in unison, creating a fantastically organized chaos. As they dropped from their trapezes in turn or as a group, they were stopped only by the elastic around their waist, I watched bewitchingly spellbound. This aerial ballet is comprised of six performers, who spring and spin high above the crowd. The Bungee performers rely on great upper-body strength and pinpoint precision to synchronize this “ballet without gravity,” another mystery to behold.
The Korean Plank astounded the audience with acrobatic feats and designs of the human pyramids. The performers remain on the teeterboard throughout the various stunts. The amazing mystery of this performance was the added effect that the stage is rotating and the danger of the Korean Plank is evident. The act requires extreme precision, timing, courage and trust, as the spotters play a key role in the routine. Their timing mysteriously never faltered.
The Trampoline and Fast Track was performed by the comic chorus. With their frivolous energy these bouncing characters were always jolly, always laughing. This huge, winged trampoline was unlike any other in the world. The trampoline artists rely on timing, acrobatic ability, and phenomenal spatial awareness to accomplish the intricate movements. I watched how these performers used their bodies to explore the mystery of time, space, and energy.
The Aerial High Bar delighted me with the ecstasy of suspended aerial motion surprise. They used a metal structure with which the fourteen national caliber athletes from Russia, Romania, Canada, and the United States fly and spin 40 feet above the stage.
The adventure in performance reached a dramatic frenzy with the Taiko performance. It was a unique style of drum playing that comes from Japan. The deep rhythmic reverberations from the sounds of the beating drums touched a primitive part of my heart. This ancient Japanese art of drumming awakened in me a need to revel in this mystery that sound creates. The pulsating drums beat a rhythm of new life through every cell in my body.
The author at the entrance to Mystere.
The performers were astounding but the theatrical experience was mysteriously beyond anything I’d ever experienced because of the unique costumes and phenomenal lighting designs. It was the costume designer’s genius for creating costumes for the fantastic characters that wove the dramatic story of life unfolding and ultimately surviving against all odds. Each costume was expertly created to weave colors, patterns, and fabrics with the aesthetics that enhanced the artists’ movements and th
Yet, it was the lighting designs that influenced my perception the most. The designer set the tone of the stage acts by what Luc Lafortune, Mystere’s Lighting Designer calls, “sculpting spectators”. By reinventing the use of light he was capable of sculpting the emotions and feelings of his audience. He believes it is the “chiaroscuro” that is the lighting designer’s anvil. It was how he was able to create contrasts in hues, angles and beams that draws the focus and transforms a scene from humorous excitement to tragedy. I know because as I watched the play of light on stage I felt my emotions swell with each illuminating color and incandescent shadow.
The musical score provided the show a freedom of expression that reached beyond the stage and conjured memories of a mysterious past. The chorus of voices chanted haunting harmonies that sent chills down my spine. The rhythmic beat of the drums stirred feelings of unyielding sounds of protection and love. The musical instruments blended melodies of enchantment and fantasy.
Mystere has entertained international audiences of all ages at the spectacular theatre in Treasure Island for the last ten years. It is a success story of great magnitude but above all it is a story of a remarkable bond between the performers and the audience. For at the end of the day it is the audience who sparks the creative passions of the show with their love for mystery, artistry, and thrilling entertainment. This is the third time I’ve seen Mystere. It’s a show that beckons you to return. It is creative. It is humor. It is spectacle. It is mystery. It is artistry in perpetual motion. It instilled in me a hope that only comes from experiencing great truth and beauty.
A hope that we can all experience the freedom to make our wildest dreams come true! This is the true mystery of Mystere, Cirque du Soleil. It is a cherished memory of our past, a hope for our promising future and a celebration of our extraordinary present.
— Feature by Janice Wilson, Las Vegas Jetsetters Magazine Correspondent.
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