Cirque du Soleil’s “Volta,” which plays Dec. 15-Jan. 14 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, is a bit of a departure for the Montreal-based, human-circus franchise.
“The show has a very urban feel,” explains Michael G. Smith, the show’s artistic director. “We’re more urban-action sports. The idea is that these are not sports that come out of the gym … They come out of the streets. The energy you get from this show is very different from our other shows. The acrobats, they don’t go to school, per se. They do things by trial and error, like BMX and parkour.”
Other acts put the Cirque spin on jump-rope skipping, roller skating, basketball and contemporary/hip-hop dancing, along with the signature circus work in trapeze, juggling, tumbling, Swiss rings and bungee jumping.
“The theme of this show is celebrating being different and not being afraid of your difference,” Smith says. “And every single one of us has a genius and [goes] on a journey to find out what that genius is.”
The central character in this show is Waz, a popular game-show host who feels he has lost something in his pursuit of fame. While reflecting on his childhood, he recalls being bullied for being different, for having blue hair.
“That traumatizes him, so he hid his hair,” Smith says. “The show is about him taking his hat off and showing his hair and being proud of who he is.”
But Smith adds that there is also another message in “Volta.”
“It’s very much a message of unity,” he says. “To take it further, we have different families in the show. For example, we have a family of free spirits. They don’t see walls.They don’t see differences. They embrace everybody. They are very happy with their lives.
“There’s so much divisiveness now with what’s going on in the political world,” Smith continues. “What we read about and what is sent out to the rest of the world, we felt humanity and caring for others is a nice message to bring.”
And that name? Smith answers with: “Volta is about the idea of voltage. It’s about pounding energy. It’s a feel-good show. You leave with this incredible energy. It’s so raw. It’s so young. And they are so proud. It’s an injection of energy.”
Cirque du Soleil’s “Volta” runs Dec. 15-Jan. 14 at Hard Rock Stadium (in a big top across the street), 347 Don Shula Drive, in Miami Gardens. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; 4:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays; 1:30 p.m. matinee Sundays; on Saturday, Dec. 30 there is only a 1 p.m. matinee. Tickets cost $40-$295 (a behind-the-scenes package on Dec. 22 and 29 costs $495). To order, call 877-924-7783 or go to CirqueDuSoleil.com/Volta.