Big top bonanza
Cirque du Soleil floats into San Antonio with Bazzar show under the big top
Cirque du Soleil’s traveling Bazzar isn't your traditional circus act, says the show's artistic director Johnny Kim.
"When Cirque du Soleil started, the biggest thing that they did [was not] involve animals," Kim tells CultureMap ahead of the troupe’s residency in San Antonio, adding that when most guests think "circus," their minds automatically turn to clowns and performing animals.
Although the show headed to San Antonio on November 5 does involve elements of "clowning," like most Cirque shows, Kim emphasizes, Bazzar's central theme is a celebration of "human performance," often involving incredible feats of human athleticism.
Billed as an homage to the original, enterprising troupe of performers that first brought Cirque du Soleil to life back in the 1980s, Bazzar (stylized BAZZAR) follows a maestro and an eager group of performers as they attempt to collaborate on an act worthy of the audience. Naturally, chaos ensues when a trickster interrupts rehearsal, leading the entire troupe on a path of creative collaboration that they never initially anticipated.
Bazzar celebrates feats of human athleticism.Photos by Rene Paciullo, Vanessa Bumbeers and Gustavo Menasce
CultureMap was witness to that during a brief preview of Cirque du Soleil BAZZAR at Pearl eatery Cured, where the pink-haired Floating Woman curiously approached the Mini-Maestro (Sagi Bracha).
Both leading characters in the show, the Floating Woman embodies the beauty of curiosity — and the commotion that results from her desire to know more. The Mini-Maestro dazzled guests at the preview event with his juggling ability, effortlessly twirling several batons like it was easy as breathing — even managing to balance one of the batons on his nose at one point without breaking his tempo.
The Floating Woman, played by Silvia Dopazo, says she drew inspiration from her own life in order to play the character.
"There's a duality inside my character that makers [her] very enriched," she explained, elaborating on how, while the Floating Woman does cause chaos initially in the show, she also teaches the rest of the troupe a vital lesson. She added that there was "a lot of strength" required for her character in terms of acting — and the physicality of her rope act.
Several team members of Cirque du Soleil teased that there are moments in the show where audience members are invited to participate.
Cique du Soleil's BAZZAR tells a story about a circus that just wants to impress the audience. Photos by Rene Paciullo, Vanessa Bumbeers and Gustavo Menasce
Meanwhile, offstage, Bazzar manages to get the city involved, and not just by selling tickets for the 2,600 seats in the big top venue. It will employ 115 local customer service employees, who they deem "cirque-adours," as well as a crew of 85 people working in tandem to raise the tent on Monday, October 30.
As an added bonus for all the foodies out there, Cured chef Steve McHugh has curated a special circus-themed menu that will be available for a limited time only. Visitors can try it during happy hour throughout Bazzar's San Antonio run.
The show will be housed at Nelson Wolff Stadium, staying in town from November 5 to December 3. Tickets (starting at $46 for adult general admission) are available at cirquedusoleil.com.