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Meet the artist: Cirque du soleil


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The story of Icarus never looked like this.

Instead of the Greek story where his wings melt and he plummets into the ocean, Icarus is instead dropped into an enchanted forest ablaze in shifting colors and shapes.

Fantastical characters lead a journey of rediscovery. Redemption is the theme of this story, called “Varekai.”

Cirque du Soleil, the Quebec-based physical theater troupe, will bring its newest performance to Indianapolis for six shows today through Sunday.

“Varekai” opens at 7:30 p.m. today, with additional shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 1:30 and 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $35 to $145 for adults, $28 to $116 for children 12 and under, and $31 to $85.50 for military veterans, seniors and students.

Vanessa Napoli of Cirque du Soleil shared what audiences can expect from this magical show.

What is “Varekai”?

“Varekai” has a lot of deep meaning and metaphors for life. But scratching the surface, it was created to rewrite the ending of the Greek mythology of Icarus.

How does it do this?

All of these characters participate in his new journey of getting to know himself and his new quest in life, whatever that might be and wherever that may lead you. Hence, “varekai” means “wherever.”

How does Cirque du Soleil tell this story?

There are lots of beautiful metaphors in this show. Part of his journey is to learn how to walk. Part of the metaphor is you don’t need your wings to fly. You can stand up tall and walk away. How do you get back up after falling?

What can people take away from this performance?

The beauty of Cirque du Soleil in any of our shows is that depending on where you are in your life, you either extract the meaning or not. If you don’t, that’s totally OK. You can love it for everything it is aesthetically.

How was the show designed to convey this story?

The costumes are all unique. They were designed by Eiko Ishioka, and her goal was to challenge the shape of the human body all the while accentuating what the performers were doing onstage. They were turned into mythological creatures, not necessarily what you’ve seen in life.

How does this differ from what Cirque du Soleil has done in the past?

The whole look and feel of the show is very different. There are some Cirque du Soleil shows that are very much a celebration of circus arts. This is very theatrical.

 — Ryan Trares

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