The circus was never quite the same after Canadian Guy Laliberte invented Cirque du Soleil, a magical arrangement of ultra-modern light, sound, costume and gymnastic performers. Laliberte enjoyed a 31-year run, eventually placing his iconic brand in Las Vegas with all of the other high rollers, and he recently sold his rights for a reported $1.5 billion!
Now, a lighter version, Le Grand Cirque has capitalized on Laliberte's revolutionary circus evolution as I watch their magic act at the Fallsview Casino. 42 performers and six huge trucks of equipment translate into an exciting run at the Avalon Ballroom which has been transformed into an eclectic gymnastics facility where performers exhibit incredible feats of strength, balance, dexterity and courage, causing the audience to gasp several times throughout the fast-paced, 80-minute performance.
LE GRAND CIRQUE - Adrenaline Circus
Fallsview Casino - Avalon Ballroom
Working at dangerous heights and using lethal props such as a powerful crossbow to shoot blindfolded and backwards, something just might go amiss, and the threat is real because two years ago, Sarah Guyard-Guillot, a French acrobat and aerialist, fell to her death during a performance of the Cirque du Soleil show Kà at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada.
One contraption utilized in Cirque's last act is called the "Wheel of Death," featuring two acrobatic performers often running for their lives at ridiculous heights and angles. The show is held together by a rather muscular mime who often goes into the audience to extract "volunteers" who are then placed in humorous situations.
There are some fantastic acts, for example, a trampoline set involving agile performers bouncing through the air often mixing side by side. The archery session features incredible marksmanship, and a dexterous juggler performers amazing stunts with a set of balls while another performer balances higher and higher on a scaffold of chairs, one mounted on top of another.
The lively show runs until Aug. 16, and it is great fun and well worth seeing.
Le Grande Cirque Adrenaline
Le Grand Cirque
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Mike Keenan writes for Postmedia Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune, Niagara Falls Review and Seniors Review, Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Geographic Traveler, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine.