KA, Cirque Du Soleil, Theatrics and Social Media

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Note: This post contains dramatic videos - plan to stay for awhile.

My trip to KÀ began with a brief email exchange . . .

ME: Thanks so much for making this offer. Last year I found out about it a few hours too late. I've never seen a show in Vegas, but I love theater, magic, dance and drama. 🙂 Thanks for letting me know what is open.
JESSICA BERLIN [Cirque Du Soleil]: Thanks for your email. Hmm….if you like theater and drama I think we should put you in to see KA. There is a 7 and 9:30 p.m. show. Which do you prefer? Also, will you be bringing a guest? Let me know and I will arrange the tickets for you.

And, that's how I got my first theatrical review assignment. [No photography is allowed; image copied from KÀ site.]

Disclosure: Cirque du Soleil provided two free tickets in exchange for a review to BlogWorld New Media Expo attendees like me.

This is my first review of any type. Why did I accept the tickets?

1. Although this was my fourth trip to Las Vegas, I’d never taken the time to see a show.
2. I love theater and have always wanted to write a review.
3. This is the kind of freebie I can’t pass up!
4. I wanted to pass on this promotion strategy to my readers: who can you invite to your event that can cover it for you?

Wondering how Cirque Du Soleil manages social media? [via Lee Odden and Online Marketing Blog]

Thanks to Marcia Hansen from Allstate for taking me up on my offer of a free ticket. We met up at the theater at MGM, got in line and walked into a huge auditorium theater. My first thought? What a HUGE venue! [One source I saw tagged the production's cost at $150 million.]

KÀ Production Facts

~ Every seat in the KÀ theatre has speakers built into the headrest for customized sound effects.
~ The video projections in KÀ are an intricate mix of computer-generated effects and human input that turn the performance space into a cinema screen.
~ Approximately 1,300 hours went into the making of each of the human-sized crab puppets.
~ There are 160 harnesses (of 21 different kinds) worn by the KÀ performers.
~ The Spearmen's shoes are created to look like they are barefoot, with molded rubber toes affixed to a shoe base.
~ For the beach scene, the sand is created using 350 cubic feet of granular cork from Portugal.

Greeters, dressed like KÀ characters, showed us our seats. One had a bright red wig.
I said: I like your hair.
She said: Thanks! I just put it on tonight!

Settling into our seats, we watched the fireballs bursting from the stage.

Having no idea what to expect – after all, this was my first Cirque du Soliel experience, I interviewed Marcia and a new friend we made, Sharon Miller from Qube Global Software, about what to expect. I asked if I could video their review after the show. They said yes – here it is:

My review?

This is a show that blows your mind. To get ready, I watched KÀ's trailer, but that didn't prepare me for the live experience.

For me, the show was imaginative beyond belief.

My favorite elements:
• Costumes – there’s something about costumes that draws me to theater. I love seeing how characters play out in the clothing, shoes, hair and makeup.
• Batons – yes, batons. After going to Purdue and watching the All American Marching Band’s post band-camp show, I thought I’d seen every style of baton twirling, but this was different: elegant, smooth, enchanting [maybe the music had something to do with it.]
• Shadow play – enchanting and childlike, two characters and four hands together put on a play within a play
• Acrobatics – known for seemingly impossible moves, this show boasts aerial, wheel and well, multiple, demonstrations of amazing feats that had me holding my breath until the act was over
• Music – bold, dramatic and showy, the music underscored the story line
• Hydraulic Wall – think about a plane that moves from level to angled with people on it and add in a chase scene with spikes – got it?
• Pit – from fire to smoke coming up to people going down, the pit holds a place as a character all its own
• Staging – columns ring the stage as centers for drumming and more aerobatics, archers poised on railings before they rushed the stage, which gave me a close look at the costumes – the slippers had rubber toes
• Pictures – before the show Aurora took pictures of Marcia and me – very nice, but at $44 not a must-buy

This show is not for people who:
scare easily, don’t like loud noises, need a story line with dialogue, like literal drama or musicals and fear indoor fire and fireworks. A friend told me she likes to watch Cirque du Soleil clips; a few minutes is enough for her.

Hint: Take the Get Cirqued Quiz to see which Cirque Du Soleil show you're in the mood for.

Would I go back? Absolutely and next time I’d take my family with me. KÀ is the pinnacle of a theater experience. I can’t wait to tell our high school theater department about it.

Have you seen KÀ? What did you think? How can you compare your business performance to Cirque Du Soleil?

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