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Bendy people doing brave things

When I was 4 years old, my parents hired a babysitter for my little sister and whisked me, the big girl, off to the Ringling Brother’s circus. I recall little of the experience. I remember my sister’s babysitter, though. She chewed Juicy Fruit gum and made a cool paper chain out of the silver wrappers.

Ringling trumped by Wrigley’s. So sad.

Had my parents taken me to a Cirque du Soleil experience, I would remember it to this day.

Last night, I attended my first Cirque du Soleil show, KOOZA. I was privileged to be invited to Denver’s premiere through Mile High Mamas. I had no idea what to expect beyond what I’ve seen referenced in pop culture: Strange costumes, bizarre story lines, irreverent sensibilities, and acrobats.

In other words, I was picturing Vegas showgirl mimes tumbling to the beat of French heavy metal as strobe lights flashed and fog machines churned out atmosphere.

Yes. That happened. There were showgirls dressed as skeletons carrying scythes and chasing around a middle-aged man in footie pajamas as a Bollywood-style singer wailed. What? The? Beep?

But so much more happened, too. There was a charming story line involving a boy being whisked away to a magical world. He gets mixed up with some odd characters who order command performances—the true meat of the show.

I cannot rave enough how talented, astonishing, and surreal the circus performers/acrobats were. It’s hard putting into words what these very bendy and brave people managed to do. My favorite performers were two beefy men who looked like professional wrestlers. They had a double-wheel contraption which spun as they ran and I really can’t go on…what they did leaves me speechless.

Laws of physics weren’t defied. They were changed forevermore.

There are new laws of physics this morning, people. If you jump off your roof, you’ll be back on your roof. If you do a back flip while jump-roping, you’ll land three seconds before you started. If you were in motion, you’ll be at rest but think you are in motion until rest and motion become one thing at the very same time.

My sister-in-law, Nini the erstwhile blogger and my KOOZA date, told me she forgot to breathe while they performed and I know exactly what she meant.

The humor was relentless, too. In between the bendy and the brave, a trio of clowns kept the audience laughing. There were many genuine surprises sprinkled throughout the performance, including audience participation to the extreme. One poor lady probably aged 2 years in an instant after what they did to her, but she took it well. I guarantee she will be talking about it for years to come.

I will be, too, and I am not her. Unless I am. Those darn laws of physics.

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