Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Varekai by Cirque du Soleil: Review (with some comparisons with Flow of PAGCOR)

Yes finally my family and I were able to watch the famous Cirque du Soleil, a first here in Manila. Philippines thanks to its sponsors Manila Hotel, Rizal Park and Banco de Oro. My entire family has been anticipating all day to watch Cirque du Soleil's production entitled Varekai.

This will not be our first carnival show though. We watched Flow at PAGCOR some two years ago and we really enjoyed it.

That is why this blog post will be somehow a comparison of Varekai and Flow. I want it to be something different since most reviews that will come out about Varekai today will be people's general experience.

Let me discuss three aspects my review will be focusing on namely: location, price and performance. I am not a theater expert so my reflections will be purely based on my feelings and experience as a consumer.

To watch Flow you have to go to PAGCOR. PAGCOR is located at 1330 Roxas Boulevard, Ermita, Manila, Philippines. On the other hand to watch the Varekai production of Cirque du Soleil one has to go to Rizal Park right in front of Quirino Grandstand behind Manila Ocean Park. Your landmarks will be Manila Hotel and Roxas Boulevard.

For those with cars, both are easily accessible. For those who are commuting, I recommend to get a taxi. Still, if your saving for the taxi fare, there are buses that can pass in these locations but not exactly to where you want to be dropped.

Still if you can afford to buy tickets for these shows, I am sure you can make accommodations for a comfortable transportation.

The ticket prices to watch FLOW are as follows:
Ticket Prices:
Php 3090.00
Php 2575.00
Php 2060.00
Php 1545.00
Php 1236.00

These are the prices I got from the blog of

The regular tickets for Varekai are given below:


Flow was recommended to me by my former teacher. My nuclear family together with some extended family went to PAGCOR one rainy night and braved the flood just to watch the show. It was a good thing that the show was really entertaining because our car became a boat due to the flood. What I liked about Flow was that there was no dull moment. The stage was very lively. The energy is over-flowing and there are always people dancing everywhere. According to their facebook fanpage "Flow tells the story of “Dance” – a graceful creature whose cheery disposition and fluid moves work in synch to express her deepest affections. "

On the other hand, "The word Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai." In Varekai, the audience is captured in the story of Icarus and the Bethrothed. Their discoveries becomes your discoveries, their adventure becomes yours as well.

For me, Flow is like a kaleidoscope. It's very colorful and dynamic. You can't really predict what's going to happen next. For Varekai you are most likely expecting a happy ending to a love story.

I find the stunts and performances in Flow more breathtaking than in Varekai. There are jaw-dropping moments as well at Varekai but I'm saying there's just more in Flow. Since Varekai is a story there are points I find kinda slow while in Flow the energy just keeps on going higher.

Therefore, stunts-wise and performance wise I give it to Flow. However for the aesthetics, costume, customer appreciation and service, souvenires all of those I hand to Varekai. The costume itself is part of entertainment while watching Varekai. It feels like the characters came from an underwater land or some magical forest. To be offered popcorn, hotdogs and drinks inside the tent also made it feel like a genuine carnival experience to me. The souvenire corner is also something not to be missed because the items being sold can be a collector's item.

On the other hand, I remember we had to fall in line for a long time for Flow. People are starting to complain and the ushers are nowhere to be seen. I can't remember if there is even a program or souvenires being sold for Flow.

For both shows, one cannot take pictures, video or use any electronic devices. They are strict about those things.

Last thing to be noted was that for the Flow production, our very own Manouvres dance group is part of the show. Varekai is staged by Cirque du Soleil which is a Quebec based company recognized all over the world over for their high-quality, artistic entertainment. Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984.

For the Varekai you can read about the inspiration, acts and characters of the story in their very informative website. I am having a hard time doing my research for Flow though. Their facebook fanpage has only two posts!

Below are my favorite acts from Varekai.

And finally, my favorite Flow acts:

I consider my family and I very lucky to be able to have a chance to watch these shows and we hope that in one way or another my family and I have encouraged you to take these opportunities to invest time and memorable moments with your family.

Till the next post!

I would like to acknowledge the websites of PAGCOR, Cirque Du Soleil for the photos I used in this post.

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