The beckoning big, blue and white tent. Chloe Blume
From the moment I pulled into Marymoor Park, I could feel the exhilarating electricity beaming from the majestic tent sitting in the center of an otherwise deserted park. Like moths to a flame, everyone anxiously herded towards the big, blue and white top where we knew excitement and adventure awaited us. With masks in place and vaccination status checked, I crossed under the Alegría gate and was immediately transported to a brighter, more colorful world, where the worries from my outside life ceased to exist. While I was yearning to discover what hid beneath the tent, I also wanted to take a moment to observe all the additional activities happening around me to make sure I didn’t miss a single thing.
Nicholas Feuillatte Champagne grass wall. Chloe Blume
My eyes were immediately drawn to a grass wall. At first glance, the wall appeared to be just a pretty background for people to take photos in front of, but a closer look revealed something much more intriguing. Out of a barely visible hole in the wall stood a floating, white-gloved hand with a flute of Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne. Not knowing whether this was merely for show or standing as an invitation, I slowly approached and began to reach out my hand towards the flute. After waiting a second to see if anyone would stop me, I grabbed the flute and enjoyed one of the best glasses of champagne I have ever had.
Pillar covered in an assortment of paintings. Chloe Blume
Now with a slight buzz under my belt, I decided it was time to explore the tent. I had no idea what to expect, but what I saw blew me away. I quickly understood that while from the outside the blue and white tent was impressive, it was merely a cloak hiding this electrifying, secret destination inside and away from the rest of society; the true beauty of this tent laid underneath. Two large pillars with an eclectic assortment of character photos scaling the sides stood directly in front of the entrance, greeting each guest as they walked in. Large, orange spotlights speckled the ceiling in an otherwise dimly lit room, intensifying the palpable excitement. Aromas of freshly popped popcorn and sparkling beverages filled the air as roused guests chattered in anticipation for the show to begin.
The mesmerizing stage setup before the show began. Chloe Blume
After having my fair share of snacks (popcorn and gummy bears, the best combination of all time), I made my way towards the stage to take my seat. While I was already impressed by the enchanting lounge area, the theatre took my breath away. Who knew a full-on stage with an extravagant set, lights, beams, etc. could all be hidden away under a tent?! I sure didn’t. Even without any actors present on the stage, I was already hooked. A solemn, kingly throne loomed at the back of the stage, with long, sharp daggers lining the ceiling above. What seemed to be a snake scepter spun eerily in a slow and mesmerizing circle center stage, entrancing each guest as they entered the room. I couldn’t handle the anticipation any longer; I needed to know what stood behind this dark and alluring throne and what adventure I was about to be taken on. At that moment, an odd-looking man with crazy gray hair and an outlandish red velvet suit entered. From that second on, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from what occurred on that stage. Pure magic.
The Aristocrats performing one of their daring stunts, as they balance on top of the wobbly poles. M-A Lemire ©2019 Cirque du Soleil
Aristocrats bouncing off poles. Rebels whirling with intersecting wheels. Angels swinging from the sky. Man becoming one with fire. A beautiful woman contorting her body to twirl hoops all along herself. Tumblers exemplifying enormous power and strength as they maneuvered across the stage through thrilling flips. And finally, trust catches high above the ground with the imminent risk of falling at one slight wrong move.
Fire Knife Dance. M-A Lemire ©2019 Cirque du Soleil
To be honest, the whole experience felt like a magical whirlwind and even looking back, I just see glimmers of each performance and remember the joy and amazement that each new act brought. I remember the pure bliss I felt as a stunning couple came together to perform a breathtakingly beautiful aerial strap duet. I remember the large smile on the fire dancer’s face that effortlessly lit up the entire theatre. And most of all, I remember feeling like a kid again throughout the entire show as I oo’d and ahh’d at the abundant talent and bravery displayed by each performer.
A glimpse from the striking aerial strap duet. M-A Lemire ©2019 Cirque du Soleil
My night at the circus was one I will always remember. As we get caught up in our daily lives and dragged down by the struggles around us, I encourage you all to put aside at least one night and visit the circus. Cirque du Soleil’s Alegría will make you laugh, cry, and gasp, all while filling your soul with its heartwarming story. But most importantly, Alegría will have you leaving with a new, more colorful, and brighter perspective of the world around you.
To experience the magic of Alegría, visit cirquedusoleil.com/alegria and buy your tickets now!
When: NOW until March 13th
Where: Under the Big Top King County’s Marymoor Park