Cirque du Soleil: Varekai (Seoul)

I've seen a few different Cirque du Soleil performances over the years (Ka, Las Vegas; Love, Las Vegas; Ovo, San Francisco; Kooza, Portland) and three days ago I saw Varekai, in Seoul at the Jamsil Sports Complex, which in addition to the temporary Cirque tent includes Olympic Stadium (1988 Summer Olympics) and Jamsil Baseball Stadium, home of Seoul's Doosan Bears.

The show itself, which tracks the story of Icarus after he fell from the sky, was probably the least compelling of the Cirque shows I've seen. That having been said, even a mediocre Cirque show is comparably enjoyable to most any other form of live entertainment. It was not a bad show. It was amazing, just not as amazing as other amazing Cirque shows.

Varekai is from the Romani language, and it translates as Wherever.

In this rendition of Icarus, he fell from the sky into a wild jungle at the base of a volcano, where he must learn to fly again. The costumes are fantastic, and watching a Cirque show with Koreans was a real treat. They eat it up. They love clapping in rhythm at nearly every opportunity, and they take any interaction with the performers (e.g. eye contact) very personally, which is to say that even grown men and women get as giddy as schoolchildren.

The acrobatics weren't quite up to par with other Cirque shows, and I'm not sure I'd recommend this show over others, especially if you're in a region where you've got a choice between performances, but if you find yourself in a foreign country, especially Korea, give it a shot. It was my first foreign Cirque show and the performers learned just enough Korean to make the audience laugh at certain moments. I imagine they do the same for other countries.