Summer 2010 – A Series of Moments…

“Spectacles of Awe…”

Another fun moment this summer was seeing “Kooza” by the Cirque de Soleil. Having met clown, Ron Campbell on twitter, and then offline in L.A. last year, I was excited to see him performing live in the big tent in Vancouver.

Cirque de Soleil's big tent

If any of you have seen Cirque de Soleil, you understand that you need to buckle up and get ready for a big ride, and Kooza didn’t let us down!

Excited to see Kooza!

As we entered the space, I spotted Ron as the King of Clowns interacting with the audience along with his sidekicks. I especially enjoyed the threesome as they were very bouffon like and audience members were treated to some “special” attention. Their presence came and went throughout the show, giving physical performers time to change their costumes and prepare for the next spectacle, or to just give us a break to breathe again.

Yes…we spent a lot of time holding our breaths as the physical performers took their lives into their hands with height, spinning cages, wobbly chairs, and thin wires. The whole show was a smorgasbord of pliable bodies folding in unexpected shapes, hoola-hooping beyond imagination, leaping, flipping, climbing, balancing, stacking, dancing, cycling, and impressing us the audience who, by contrast, were frozen immobile in our seats.

All acts were supported sensitively by beautiful live music made up of two voluptuous voices, and an orchestra of talented musicians.

Afterward, we were fortunate to go behind the scenes, meet a few of the performers, view some of the specially constructed equipment (done by the performers), and hear some stories. (thank you Ron!)

Behind the scenes at Kooza

Cirque de Soleil has managed to harness an incredible amount of talent from the performers and creators, to all the behind the scene professionals (riggers, stage designers, costumers, lighting designers) into a spectacular ensemble that takes you on a journey of fantasy and awe.

A true entertainment escape! Have you ever experienced it?

Stay tuned for a few more summer vignettes….

(oh.. and here is a Cirque video, by Chris Wheeler, we happened to pop into that night!)

Summer 2010 – A Series of Moments…

“Pride Fun…”

I found myself feeling proud as I stood on the side of Beach Street in the West End of Vancouver the afternoon of August 1st. The sun was gently mixing with soft clouds making the temperature comfortable, and the view of the ocean and mountains completed the smug feeling I was experiencing.

“We live in a pretty darn nice place,” I thought, and expressed it to my partner who was standing behind me with a big grin. He agreed.

We weren’t standing alone. We were with about 700,000 other people enjoying one of Vancouver’s biggest celebrations, The Gay Pride Parade, on Pride Weekend.

It was my first Pride Parade and I loved watching both the audience and the participants. The word liberation kept coming to my mind. Liberation and celebration.

I saw a community of strength and determination, and belonging. I saw inclusion, family, youth, elderly, love, un-leashed craziness (in the best way possible).

watching the Pride Parade in comfort!
watching the Pride Parade in comfort

I saw Pride.

I felt proud to be in a community where our Chief of Police strolled with other officers in the parade. I loved that the TD Bank had a sexy, sparkly float with young people dancing.

TD Bank doing their thing!
TD Bank doing their thing!

I respected the political statements (“Sex on beaches NOT Exxon beaches”) and admired the participants who proudly displayed their protests.

The journey continues to liberate worldwide
The journey continues to liberate worldwide

I laughed at the characters dressed in outlandish imaginative outfits as they taunted the crowds.

Having a lot of fun!
Having a lot of fun!

We have come a long way in how this community is viewed, and I commend the courage that many, many people have had to have in order to be themselves… not an easy task even in the best of times. Us “heteros” can learn from you!

To myself, I thought… next year? My wild and woolly bouffons need to be here! Look out 2011!

Stay tuned for another summer vignette…