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Experience the Circus at its Finest With Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai

· Joseph Sheerin · Culture

You’ve not been to the circus until you’ve seen Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du Soleil's Varekai

Cirque du Soleil make their much anticipated return to Leeds’ First Direct Arena with their first UK tour of Varekai.

The world’s biggest circus is coming to Leeds this February. Cirque du Soleil has wowed audiences around the globe with their incredible theatrics and stunning moves and they’re making their return to First Direct Arena for six consecutive nights this February.

Starting out as a group of just 20 performers, Cirque du Soleil is now a 4,000 strong company with 1,300 performers from more than 50 countries. It’s not just one show we’re talking about either – they currently have 21 different productions touring the world.

The one they’re bringing to Leeds is called Varekai. It originally debuted in Montreal back in 2002. Despite being in production for nearly 15 years, this will be the first ever time the show has come to the UK.

Translated as ‘wherever’ from the Romani language, it’s set in another world, deep in a forest at the tip of a volcano. It picks up where the Greek myth of Icarus left off, with a young man falling from the sky after flying too close to the sun. Instead of falling into the sea, he lands in a place where the extraordinary is possible, and it’s from here that the fantastical adventure begins.

The visuals are stunning and so are the performances. Whether you’re young or old, Varekai will prove that the circus can still strike awe. There’s synchronised tumbling with acrobats flipping and twisting in perfect harmony, a dance trapeze which sees a woman dance while balancing above the stage and a Russian swing which sees two performers fly across the arena, landing on a net and each other in the process.

Directed by Dominic Champagne, Varekai is a stunning example of the sheer entertainment Cirque du Soleil have been offering up for over 30 years, paying tribute to the nomadic soul and the true art of the circus. You ain’t seen nothing quite like it.

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai is at First Direct Arena from Wednesday 22nd to Sunday 26th February 2017.