Cirque de So Lame? Not quite.

Tonight I saw White: The Light Beyond, a dance-and-circus show by New Vision Cirque. I was my in-laws’ guest, and I can’t say I’m disappointed by the price I paid. There were some really enjoyable moments, and the final three scenes (in which — and these are my interpretations — a woman takes her pleasure into her own hands while climbing the silks, finally achieving her goal; six neon harlequins dance her fantasies while she sits, wrapped in two encompassing lips; and she comes down into her lover’s hands as she awakes) were exquisite.

Some of the musical decisions were downright bizarre. I recognized “Clubbed to Death” from the Matrix soundtrack, but the juggler, who never had more than five objects in the air (and rarely for more than 15 seconds), could not have hoped to satisfy the musical promissory note of “Your Attention” from Blue Man Group. I mean, really: one the one hand you’ve got a five-object juggler with a yin/yang symbol painted on his face; on the other, you’ve got the total awesome inventiveness and technological oomph of the Blue Man Group. The poor guy could master nine-club cascades on a unicycle and still fall short of that background music. He deserved music that didn’t paint him hopelessly into a corner.

The audience seemed to applaud demonstrations of talent with the same enthusiasm they showed for demonstrations of rotational inertia. The demonic Man-Beasts on power skips were phenomenally entertaining, but I saw no point to the acrobatic wheel act. It all seemed rather randomly put together — an acrobat “dies” at the beginning, and then is forced to watch a woman with hula hoops, a man with a springy metal cube (“world’s worst mime”, I called him; you could TOTALLY see that box), a juggler, and various gymnastic acts. It was neither hell nor heaven.


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