For those of you who have yet to experience (or those of you that love) the wonder of human strength, flexibility and jaw-dropping talent that Cirque du Soleil brings to stage, you have an incredible opportunity to witness one of their awe inspiring shows, OVO, right here in DC.
Last Friday I received a text from my boyfriend that simply read, “We’re going to the circus – be ready at 5,” my first thought was, “Huh? Circus?…like the lions and tigers and bears (oh my) kind?” But much to my liking, he had instead surprised me with tickets to that evenings showing of OVO (yes, I know I’m spoiled).
The traveling Cirque show OVO, described as “an immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects,” has taken temporary residence in DC from September 9th until this Sunday, October 24th. The wonderment all takes place under the bright blue and yellow tents of the Grand Chapiteau, perched high above the National Harbour. (Note: The Grand Chapiteau is not located in the actual National Harbour but it instead has its own area across from the waterfront, signs at the exit will help direct you).
When you arrive, expect to pay to park (it was $12 where we parked) and be prepared for a bit of an uphill walk to reach the venue. The hill is nothing too demanding, but paired with the coarse rock parking lot – I’d leave the high heals at home…take it from someone who learned the hard way and has the skinned knee to prove it!
Once inside the tented grounds, there is a concession stand (snacks ranged from $6 and up, while beer and wine were priced around $7 and $8) and a gift shop that offers unique souvenirs to take home.
The Friday night show started promptly at 8pm, and once the last “seating notice” was given guests were NOT able to enter the venue until a designated break, which came after the first act had finished their routine. (Be sure to be in your seats early so this doesn’t happen to you – the opening is incredible!) But don’t worry, there is a short intermission (about 20 minutes) halfway through the show if you need a bathroom or snack break.
As the lights faded and the show began, the colored tents and stadium seating brought back childhood memories of a traditional circus visit, but within moments the magic that unfolded on stage reminded me that I was someplace far different. From my love of the elaborate and creative costuming to my sheer amazement of the feats performed just feet in front of me, I found myself gasping and asking my boyfriend, “did you see that?!” almost every five minutes.
My two personal favorite acts were the “Butterflies” (Spanish Web Duo) during which a male and female team performed feats of extraordinary strength, and contortion all while gracefully dangling from a rope high above us, and the “Wall” which featured over 20 “bugs” appearing to defy gravity as they run up, jump down and leap across an 8m vertical wall.
The entire performance from start to finish lived up to every expectation I have for a Cirque du Soleil show (I’ve seen two other shows in Las Vegas) and as we walked out the discussions of others echoed my praises.
If you are looking for a one of a kind experience this week or this weekend, and enjoy Cirque performances, you really should go experience OVO before it’s OV-er this Sunday!
TIP: Try to book your tickets early and spend a little extra to get “Level 1” or “Level 2” tickets. The Premium tickets are of course the best, but the venue is fairly small and you can still see everything from the other seats. Do be aware that although the “Level 3” tickets are the least expensive, you will miss out on some of the excitement as a spider web and large flower will block some of your views. If you are looking to save a few dollars, the weekday and early shows are a bit cheaper per ticket.
Still not convinced? Check out the show’s official trailer below:
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