Acrobats perform in Bakersfield


Cirque Du Soleil’s Skywatcher performs gestures and movements at the beginning of Varekai, which took place at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.

Amber Hayden, Online Editor

The Greek myth of Icarus and his fall has been told in different ways throughout time, but none as colorful as the production of Varekai.

In the world of the Romney, the language of the Gypsies, the word Varekai translates to mean “wherever.” And throughout the production, each act beckons the viewer to take a quest that leads them to the far-off place of Varekai.

According to Vanessa Napoli, Attaché de Presse for Varekai, the production had ran for 13 years with Under the Big Top, until two years ago in September when they made the move to Cirque Du Soleil.

The show starts with Icarus falling from the sky and his wings being taken from him, in which he must then learn how to walk and get around without the use of them.

With the use of vibrant colors, wires, and music, the story unfolds with dancing, and a swing used to launch one group of performers across the others.

Napoli commented, “If you ask the performers if they are scared they will tell you no, they are always adapting and tweaking their performances and trying to make it better.”

Next to Icarus, two of the other performers, The Skywatcher and The Guide, are the two who take the wings from Icarus.

They taunt him off and on as Icarus reaches for his wings and they pull them away, which seems to be a way of making Icarus learn to not depend on them anymore.

The 50 performers for the production have been training for most of their lives in order to be ready for the show. They usually come into the show between the ages of 24 or 25.

Each performer though, depending on what they do for the show, chooses on how long they travel with the show and when they choose to leave and walk away.

“It varies for each performer, because some muscles are more prone to injuries. The majority though have traveled the world and are just ready to settle down.” Napoli said.

The families of each performer have the option of traveling with the show if they choose to, but Cirque Du Soleil does not pay for their travel arrangements. It is up to the performers to figure out how to bring their family, which is especially important to performers with children.

“They may have babies, and they just don’t want to be away from them,” said Napoli.

With a total of just over 100 people always traveling together, they have the tendency to take over their hotel, but they are always together.

“If they go to get out of the hotel just to even sightsee in whatever town they are in, they go out together.” Napoli commented.

Just before coming to Bakersfield the show had taken a two-week break in order to rest up for their next 10 to 12 weeks on the road.

With two weeks off in between each tour, it averages out to give them 12 weeks off a year which Napoli said isn’t too bad when you look at it.

If you wish to learn any more about the show, you can check out to find information on their shows, as well as tour dates, the cast of characters, and which acts travel with the show.