Skip to content
Join our Newsletter
Join our Newsletter

What you can expect at Cirque Du Soleil's upcoming OVO show in Prince George

Arenas across B.C. are a-buzz with Cirque’s insect inspired high-flying show

Cirque du Soleil’s OVO is an immersive experience that transports the audience into the world of insects. I had the privilege of seeing the show in Kelowna before it made its way up to Prince George. 

OVO was the first Cirque du Soleil show that I had ever seen and I was impressed by how seemingly effortlessly the performers flew through the air.

Through movement, dance, acrobatics, contortion and countless awe-inspiring feats of the human body, it was as if the performers had transformed themselves into insects.

The show also follows the story of a mysterious egg that appears and inspires awe and intense curiosity in the insects, while symbolizing the cycle of their lives.

But the heart of OVO focuses on a sweet love story of a gawky blue fly who catches the eye of a ladybug.

The story is told through a lot of different acrobatics, both in the air and on the ground including trampolinists, tumblers, hand balancers, contortionists, jugglers and even clowns. 

There’s lots of variety in the show and a lot of colour, the set design and as each character's costume and makeup work together to create the immersive world of OVO. 

The music also helps set the emotions creating comical, uplifting, and joyful moments but also some tender scenes between characters like the butterflies or the loves story between the fly and the ladybug.  

The set features giant props that evoke nature including a 30ft mechanical flower that blooms and moves. These giant objects create a minuscule world and take the audience to the insects’ point of view.

The largest set element is a curved wall, which is set against the rear of the stage where the performers climb on it, disappear into it and use it as a stage, a platform and a launching pad.

We see a silk contortionist cocoon as a soon-to-be butterfly, a dragonfly performing hand balancing, a diablo juggler firefly and butterflies who merge hand-to-hand aerial contortion in a high flying act.

One of the most impressive moments of the show is the scarab beetles who soar high above the stage performing a stunning aerial act called Russian Cradle where they soar through the air catching each other separated by six metres.

Another stunning act is the crickets who run, jump, and walk across the vertical wall without artificial support.

“The whole show is made up of bugs, and our act is comprised of 14 crickets where we interchangeably do a tumbling act and trampolining,” said one of the crickets, Mathew Piva when I had the opportunity to speak with him following OVO’s opening night in Kelowna.

“We are doing high tricks on a big wall which is about five and a-half-metres and there are crickets on the floor who are doing tumbling as well, but it is all very acrobatic.”

He specializes in trampolining and has been with OVO since November 2021.

“Every city, the audience is different, and every country is different but at the end of the day we give 110 per cent to each audience member, but hearing kids laugh is probably the best of all,” he added.

Being in the audience during the premiere night in Kelowna, I could feel the excitement in the air as Prospera Place filled with people. It had been a long time since I had gone to a large event and it was so lovely to have that shared experience again where you could hear everyone in unison laugh and gasp at the same moments. 

And like Mathew noted, the best part was seeing how much joy it brought the kids in the audience. I kept thinking about my friend's five-year-old son who is obsessed with bugs and what he would think seeing these insects come to life and fly through the air! 

OVO was created by Deborah Colker, who is Brazilian, which is why there are so many Portuguese influences throughout the production and it was inspired by her fascination with insects. The name OVO actually means egg in Portuguese, and it is a symbol of the life cycle of numerous insects and represents the underlying thread of the show.

OVO first premiered in Montréal in April 2009 and has visited more than 30 cities in 6 different countries as a Big Top show before transforming in an arena show in 2016.

The show was slightly revamped following a two-year pause for the COVID-19 pandemic but is now touring in cities across western Canada.

“To be able to do this now, and have 25 nationalities on tour with 100 people putting the show together, and being able to share that with the audience live and hearing people laugh and hearing them gasp — I think that we absolutely don’t take it for granted,” said Cirque du Soleil spokesperson Janie Mallet. Mallet.

“There is a renewed sense of appreciation and I think you can sense that in the audience too.”

Mallet told me she hopes everyone who comes to the show will forget their worries and come along on the journey of OVO.

“Who knows who will be in the audience and be inspired to be the next Cirque du Soleil artist and if not, that maybe be inspired to follow your dreams,” said Mallet.

“I saw a Cirque du Soleil show when I was young, and it made me want to travel and work in the arts — inspiration is what I hope they take away from it and a good moment with friends and family.”

While I'm not planning on running away with the circus anytime soon, I was definitely impressed by my first Cirque du Soleil experience and plan on seeing as many more Cirque du Soleil performances as I can in the future!