Cirque Eloize’s “iD,” playing at Starlight through Sunday, is appealing and engaging but lacks a wow factor.
Based out of Montreal, Cirque Éloize was founded in 1993 has been the sister company of Cirque du Soleil since 2010. The much younger sister lacks the razzle-dazzle and mystery of Cirque du Soleil.
Instead, “iD” has a gritty, down-to-earth quality. Watching it is almost reminiscent of an Ailey II piece of choreography. “iD” is an urban mashup of hip-hop and ’70s and ’80s breakdancing culture, with a smidge of “West Side Story” angst thrown in.
Before the curtain opens, sirens, jackhammers, car horns and other loud street noises inundate the audience. Simple cutouts of building shapes make up the sets, with videos of city scenes superimposed on them. The repetitious electronic music is identical to that of Cirque du Soleil.
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The first act is heavy on urban dance moves mixed with acrobatics and gymnastics. A biker maneuvers his way up the different levels and ledges of the building and manages to jump rope as daring young gang members perform flips and hand stands.
The second act definitely ramps up the circus entertainment. A woman hangs suspended from aerial silks, another rolls in a huge hula hoop. A man balances on a tall stack of chairs as other performers bounce on trampolines up to the ledges and windowsills of the set. Fun stuff.
Some of the sequences go on a little too long. There just isn’t the lightning quick change of pace as in a Cirque du Soleil production.
But “iD” definitely shows off the grace, the sheer athleticism and physical prowess of the performers, creating a worthwhile evening of entertainment.
Cirque Eloize’s “iD” runs through Sunday at Starlight Theatre. Tickets are $15-$141 through kcstarlight.com.