Delphian Review Club meets
Posted: Friday, March 27, 2009 8:01 pm
The Delphian Review Club met recently in the home of Carolyn Bloebaum, with 17 members present. President Vicki Blanton called the meeting to order and chaplain Martha Clendenin read an excerpt from Max Lucado’s book “When God Whispers Your Name” entitled “I Choose Love.” Following the business meeting, Ms. Bloebaum presented an entertaining and insightful program on Cirque du Soleil’s performance of “O” in Las Vegas. Founded in 1984 in Quebec, the Cirque du Soleil, French for the “Circus of the Sun,” is a traveling circus that mixes circus arts and street theater and features original music, special effects and spectacular costumes but no animal acts. It began as the “High Heels Club,” an entertainment troupe of stilt walkers that set up a festival in the early 1980s where performing artists could exchange ideas and develop a circus tradition for Quebec. Now, the Cirque develops its programs in a Montreal studio and employs acrobats, musicians and actors from around the world. It has permanent shows in Las Vegas and in DisneyWorld in Florida. Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the circus arts, transcending the traditional big-top approach of the past to spotlight elaborate sets, lavish costumes and original music. Cirque expanded rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show with 73 employees in 1984 to approximately 3,500 employees from over 40 countries producing 15 shows over every continent except Africa, with an estimated annual revenue exceeding $600 million. At the Bellagio Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Cirque created its 10th production, “O” — a show performed in the water. “O,” which is derived from the phonetic spelling of the French word for water, took more than 400,000 man-hours of production and pre-production work to assemble. The 1,800-seat theater is centered around a 1.5 million-gallon tank of water for the performers to work in and around. It was built using a water pumping system that is as noiseless as possible to prevent any mechanical noise from detracting from the quality of the show itself. Twelve underwater speakers allow the performers in the water to hear and react to audio cues even when they are submerged. The show has a cast of 85 acrobats, synchronized swimmers and divers. The pool is kept at 88 degrees and has an underwater communication system and regulators that allow performers to breathe underwater. Apart from the performers, the stage is equally amazing in its transformation from a 25-foot pool of water into a flat surface in a matter of seconds. Elements of fire, water and air are also explored as the set changes from an underwater spectacle to dry land where a tribal dancer whirls two flaming batons. Following the program, co-hostess Maggie Vaughan served a delicious lemon icebox cake, cheese wafers and St. Patrick’s Day chocolate mints.
Published in The Messenger 3.27.09
Delphian Review Club