The love story follows the character of the Foreigner, a fly from a distant land, as he arrives in the insect colony. The Foreigner meets and falls in love with the Ladybug, but he initially experiences rejection from the colony. Tim Bennett, artistic director of Ovo, summarizes the story simply and cheerfully: “Bug meets bug, bug loses bug,
Ovo was created in 2009 and premiered in Montreal in April of that year. “We had an idea that we wanted to do something about the environment... Cirque is so environmentally aware, and we promote conservation and awareness,” Bennett says.
The climate-change debate was no less heated in 2009 than it is now, but President Obama’s administration was taking steps to ameliorate the effects. During Obama's term, the president established new carbon emissions and fuel economy standards in the States and joined 193 other world leaders in signing the Paris climate agreement. But that was then. Now the Trump administration has reversed Obama's environmental efforts, angering activists last month by indicating that it will not participate in the Paris accord.
So has Ovo taken on a political resonance in the time of Trump? “Because of Cirque’s history of human rights and environmental awareness, all work is supportive of inclusion and human rights and environmental awareness and care,” Bennett says. But he stresses that the show does not intend to comment on the politics of environmental issues. “Ovo is one of the most playful, gentle shows in the Cirque show canon. It’s bright, positive, and peppy. It’s much more of a positive experience than getting involved in political discussions or debate. It’s really about going to the theater and having a great time and having fun."
statement in response: “Cirque
Bennett says the action was in line with Cirque’s ethos on inclusion. “Cirque will always speak out about human rights. We are a very human-based organization that promotes... sensitivity and inclusion... [Ovo] shines a light on us-versus-them issues, highlighting similarities and differences.” He says Cirque values inclusion and equality because it includes performers and staff from 21 countries. “[Cirque] comes together and works together as a team with acts that require trust. We offer and respect all different perspectives as a family."
Bennett is especially excited to see Ovo premiere in Miami because of the South American influences on the show’s music, colors, and set design. The show is intended to be positive and attractive to a wide range of audiences. He says, “[Ovo] appeals to all people, from people who want to go for an escapist experience, to those who want to see high-level acrobatics and amazing things these artists can do, to people who have
Cirque du Soleil’s Ovo. July 28 through 30 at American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; 786-777-1000; aaarena.com and cirquedusoleil.com. Tickets start at $57.