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Cirque Du Soleil Presents Zarkana: An Imaginative and Innovative Quest at Radio City Music Hall

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Zarkana is the story of a quest. It melds the strange and surreal in a rock and roll circus as seen through the eyes of Zark - a magician who has lost love and his powers. In his travels, Zark encounters chaos and colorful characters in a presentation that only Cirque Du Soleil could craft.

Cirque Du Soleil's Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall
Zarkana returned to Radio City Music Hall for another run in June 2012.

Zarkana is scheduled to run at the historic Radio City Music Hall in New York City from June through September 2, of 2012. The theater's large stage and art deco themes have been transformed for the Cirque Du Soleil performances. Additional arches have been added along with moving platforms. Yet, there was still plenty of room for the flying trapeze and amazing acrobatics. attended an afternoon performance of Zarkana on June 16, 2012.

On each side of the theater were unusual organs and above the stage the rock bands were situated. As patrons were taking their seats some of the Movers (white clowns) interacted with the people. The first set was a dark place as Zark clad in red sang his tale. Zark and the other performers conversed in a mostly made up language that did make understanding the story line more challenging. A lady appeared and soon she started to perform a remarkable act of juggling. The incredible presentation included tossing the balls against an array of surfaces to create sounds that were enhanced by drums and tap dancing.

Sirens announced the next performers - a beguiling balancing act of ladders backed by bold music. The sets and spectacles unfolded and became more dazzling and daring with each pass. Imaginative displays of artistry, balance, courage and flexibility flowed from one act to the next. And just like a circus the main feat would be center stage while others in the background were dancing and performing. In some scenes, the use of multi-media augmented the illusion of action and actors on stage.

The entire production featured over 75 international artists for a wondrous display of global talent. Some of our favorite acts were the trapeze, hand balancing and the Russian bar where the acrobat would bounce and flip in the air landing on the flexible beam supported by two strong men.

The Wheel of Death had us on the edge of our seats as the two wizardry men walked and jumped rope on the moving wheels. Between the artful acrobatics were moments of humor handled by the lead white clowns Hocus and Pocus. In one of their skits, the pair picked a lady in the front row to assist in their antics.

Amid all the death defying activity and shifting sets was the story of Zark in search of love and magic. In his quest, Zark encountered ladies who tried to seduce him. One was pickled, another was an incarnation of ivy, a third - a dame of snakes and the fourth was a sinister spider woman.

Zarkana was a three ring circus of colors, costumes, dance, music and skills that were unbelievable and left us with the inspiring message that anything is possible! Zarkana was an imaginative and innovative production.

Zarkana was truly a breathtaking bazaar of the bizarre and something to behold. The non-stop action, illusion and gymnastic pyrotechnics onstage were more than the mind could comprehend in one sitting. As we were leaving we realized that this is a show that we would need to see again.

Related Links: For more information on ZARKANA and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - ZARKANA | Radio City Music Hall

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