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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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‘Delirium’ excites and enchants Dallas audiences

 Delirium excites and enchants Dallas audiences
‘Delirium’ excites and enchants Dallas audiences

‘Delirium’ excites and enchants Dallas audiences

Cirque du Soleil is known around the world for putting on shows that incorporate intricately designed costumes, mind-blowing acrobatics and a unique blend of music. “Delirium,” the company’s latest presentation, ended a two-day run at American Airlines Center on Tuesday night.

The show started with a performance by internationally known artist Nitza. Her arrival was announced by a plume of smoke as she floated up from beneath the stage wearing a seductive red dress, which matched a red streak in her otherwise jet-black hair. Several black-clad band members emerged to provide a tribal beat via stage-mounted drums, bongos and other percussion instruments.

Nitza sang with the voice of a siren, drawing the audience in like sailors beneath the alluring blue glow of the stage lights. New instruments appeared with each additional song: mandolin, acoustic and electric guitar, electric bass, violin. Nitza’s songs married Middle Eastern and Irish-themed melodies, with rock ‘n roll guitar and drums. The result was a far less quirky, much more beautiful version of Björk with a style that leaned more toward eclectic than eccentric.

A 20 minute intermission followed Nitza’s set, and then Delirium was underway. The show started with the entrance of a handful of muscular acrobats who came flipping and dancing across the stage. One of the central characters, a strangely ordinary man dressed in slacks and a white shirt, floated onstage hanging from a curious balloon that glowed red. The stage quickly became the scene of a nightmare as a gigantic door at the side of the stage released a full band, suited in futuristic clothes, fronted by a scantily clad, tattooed native man who closely resembled an Aztec warrior.

The show progressed in a much more confusing flurry of song and performance. Many of the scenes, as the show’s name suggested, took on a very delirious tone. Laura Vasquez, another SMU student who was in attendance, said she “felt like [she] was on drugs and couldn’t get off.”

It’s no surprise why. One of the key elements of the show was a pair of opaque curtains, which were drawn across the stage at key moments in order to produce a transparent screen onto which a multitude of bizarre visuals were projected. For example, virtual water flooded the stage in one scene, moving the setting from the surface of a moon-like planet to the bottom of an ocean with the irrational fluidity that only dreams can provide.

The show also spotlighted feats of human strength and agility, as witnessed by a lean, enviably muscular man who performed incredible acts of balance atop a white, bell-shaped set piece adorned with a single pole. In another instance, a woman displayed an amazing ability to twirl numerous hula hoops around her body. She started with two, swinging one around her foot and the other around her arm. An anonymous entity continued throwing additional hoops until she had seven rings spinning at the same time.

“Delirium” was a wonderful dream that I was disappointed to wake from. Though much more mainstream than last year’s Varekai, which was staged in a custom blue and yellow striped tent at Fair Park, “Delirium” still managed to uphold the long-running tradition of fantasy and unsurpassed magic that the Cirque du Soleil is known and loved for.

 

Jared Caraway is a first-year computer science major and can be reached at [email protected].

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