Monday, February 27, 2012

Cirque du Soleil at the Oscars

My favorite part of the Oscars, aside from some of the hilarious acceptance speeches, was the performance by Cirque du Soleil. Someone on Twitter referred to them as the perfect combination of art and athletics. I can't describe it any better than that. They were only on stage for about 4 1/2 minutes, but I must have gasped at least five times during that. There were a few moves that just blew me away with the amount of strength and control required to execute them.

The amazing, gasp-worthy moments started pretty early on. At the 0:38 mark the "Cary Grants" swing themselves up using nothing but core strength.

At 1:55, watch the couple in the back left. They are not hooked up to wires. That's just balance. That leads directly to a man standing up from a full split, without using his hands. I've watched it several times and still not sure how he does it. As if that wasn't enough, he then moves into a ridiculous backward bend balance move that can usually only be done by 89 pound, 14 year old gymnasts. All of this is done while simultaneously removing his shirt and then putting it back on. There is a woman on the opposite side of the stage also doing an impossible balance move, but up on tiny platforms.

I firmly believe that at least one amazing move was missed while some director decided the TV audience needed to see how George Clooney was reacting to the performance. I know he's awesome, but I really didn't need that cut to his face right then. I was gasping again at 3:07 as that woman was swung around.

When it was over, and the applause had died down, Billy Crystal had perhaps his best line of the night when he said, "I pulled a hamstring just watching that."

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