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  • Writer's picturePenny Neef

It’s a Buggy World – Cirque du Soleil OVO



Words by Penny Neef. Images courtesy of Seven Venues.


If you’ve never seen a Cirque du Soleil production, and I sincerely hope that you have, you might be thinking it’s just a circus on steroids, without animals. A Cirque du Soleil production is more complex, more layered, more nuanced and so much more creative than any Ringling Brothers you have ever seen. Besides, Ringling got in trouble with our friends at PETA and closed down in 2017. Word is they are touring again, without animals, but there is no way Ringling can come close to a Cirque du Soleil production.


OVO, the Cirque du Soleil production playing through Sunday, June 16 at Scope Arena in Norfolk, is Portuguese for egg. As with most living things, OVO starts with an egg, an enormous egg sitting right in the middle of Scope Arena. Crickets, with long, jointed legs begin prancing around, and before you know it, the arena is swarming with bugs of all shapes and sizes. 


OVO, like all Cirque productions, is complex in planning and execution. OVO’s music, played live, has a Brazilian flavor with bossa nova, samba, funk, electro and insect sounds, combined with a heavy beat. There is an elegant soloist, dressed as a queen cockroach, that sings songs of turbulence and love, in the language of insects.


The OVO costumes, designed by Liz Vandal have a colorful, futuristic, super hero quality. Maybe the insects will be taking over the world? You will see graphic designs inspired by Pierre Cardin and the pleating techniques of Japanese designer Issey Miyake. Each insect has two costumes, one for performing and one for “show”.

The costumes are stunning, and so is the set. There are giant flowers that organically open and close. There is a 64-foot by 30-foot wall at the rear of the stage that changes from forest, to habitat, to the inside of a flower. It is used throughout the performance as a climbing wall, launching pad, home for a ladybug and more.


Let’s not forget the amazing performers who do things with their bodies that seem impossible. There are pole acrobatics, trapeze artists, amazing jugglers, contortionists, wall climbers, trampolinists, and clowns, but all in the complex and creative style of Cirque du Soleil. There is a love story between the two worlds of a ladybug and a fly. It’s a little hard to understand the nuance of the story. They speak in “bug”, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s Cirque du Soleil OVO. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing. It’s playing right now at the Scope Arena in Norfolk. Don’t miss it.


For more information and to purchase tickets (there are plenty available) go to – 

The OVO production is one of more than twenty Cirque spectaculars that have been produced. 

There are six totally different Cirque du Soleils running this moment in Las Vegas. There are dozens touring world-wide. 

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