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Cirque du Soleil Zarkana at ARIA
With characteristic use of visually stunning sets, artistic costuming, spectacular acrobatic feats and a unique storyline, Cirque du Soleil's Zarkana offers an original stage production for Las Vegas audiences at the Aria Resort and Casino.
The brainchild of Canadian writer and director François Girard, Zarkana was first performed at Radio City Music Hall in New York City in 2011, after nearly a year of rehearsal, choreography and rewriting to ensure a show that promised unparalleled acrobatic and visual delights for audiences of any age. The show then toured the Madrid Arena in Spain and the Kremlin Palace in Russia to enthusiastic audience response that same year. In 2012, the show converted from a touring performance to a permanent show housed in the Aria Resort in Las Vegas, where it has successfully captured the imagination of audiences every day since.
A portmanteau of the words “bizarre” and “arcane,” Zarkana is the magical story of Zark, a dispirited magician who suffers from a depressed malaise in which he questions his own magical abilities and mourns the loss of his true love. With the aid of an eclectic cast of characters in a deserted theatre, Zark engages in a magical journey where he meets four mystical women. The Pickled Lady is a quirky lab experiment created by the Mad Scientist; the Mandragora is an ivy-clad woman embodying feral nature; the next woman Zark chances to meet is Kundalini, an exotic snake woman, and finally, he meets Tarantula, an entrancing spider woman who quite literally ensnares him in her web.
Zark is aided along in his journey by his lovely assistant Lia and several clowns offering enormous comic relief, often engaging audience members as parts of each act. The show utilizes more than 70 world-class performers who range in skill from acrobatic feats to physical comedy to artistic expression. Zarkana offers audiences a first in Cirque du Soleil history, the use of a triple side-by-side trapeze act.
The dangerous and visually enrapturing Wheel of Death has sent performers to the hospital in the past and is the highlight of a show filled with the sort of stylistically and athletically complex acts that set Cirque du Soleil apart from other stage shows. Other feats include the use of aerial hoops and cyr wheels, high wire acts, ladders, ropes, the banquine, flags and the Russian bar.
Every aspect of the show is visually appealing, from the set utilizing nearly 200 feet of writhing resin snakes to the LED light wall that offers audiences visuals using more than three million pixels to the costuming with its clear inspiration taken from the Art Deco movement. Each facet of this unforgettable show is the result of years of thought, practice, artistic endeavor and physical skill, culminating in a two-hour event that will enthrall and delight audiences for years to come.