This latest offering from Cirque du Soleil is a dazzling homage to the cinematic arts. Directed and choreographed by Philippe Decouflé with an 18-member creative team, the spectacle is part burlesque, part circus, with two huge faces at both ends of the set, designed by Jean Rabasse. Danny Elfman's orchestral score is as diverse as the world of cinema itself, incorporating jazz, rock and even classical violin and cello, while the variety and design of Philippe Guillotel's costumes is mind-boggling. Like all Cirque shows, this one follows a loose narrative. Here, it's about an aspiring composer in search of his true love, a journey that takes him into a fantastical world. There are plenty of "How did they do that?" moments: aerial flights, acrobatics, movement, music, theatrical hi-jinks and much grand spectacle that's quite, well, Hollywood. What sets Iris apart from the other Cirque shows that have come through town is the variety it offers, as well as the imaginative use of video and special effects to accompany the performers. Highlights include four contortionists whose supernatural dexterity is mystically enhanced in light and shadows on a back wall, a living film strip, a choreographed frame-to-frame "movie" with live performers and a rooftop trampoline act that nods to West Side Story and gangster movies where the tough guys square off (via trampolines) on a hotel roof.
Tuesdays, Thursdays, 8 p.m.; Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 & 7 p.m. Starts: July 21. Continues through Sept. 2, 2011
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