I still remember the first time I heard of Cirque du Soleil.

I was probably 12 years old, and I was sitting in the kitchen with my mom. I was doing homework while she cooked and watched TV.

Usually, she was watching something boring, like the news or a gardening show.

But this was different. After watching for a few minutes, I asked, in awe, what it was.

Review of Zarkana in Las Vegas

She explained that it was an international circus group called Cirque du Soleil. Ever since that day, I’ve wanted to see one of their shows in person. (Fun fact: Cirque du Soleil means “Circus of the Sun” in French, but the company is Canadian.)

A few weeks ago, I got my chance.

Review of Zarkana in Las Vegas

I was in Las Vegas for the first time, and besides for all the good food (I had just left Utah, which is not exactly gourmet central), the Cirque show was really the only thing I was excited about.

I’d gotten tickets to see Zarkana, a newer Cirque du Soleil show that is playing at the Aria Resort & Casino. There are currently eight different Cirque shows playing in Vegas. I have no idea how you’re supposed to pick one, so I was thankful when Cirque helped me out!

From their website:

“Zarkana is an acrobatic rock opera that blends circus arts with the surreal to create a world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the strange. It’s a visual vortex set in a slightly twisted musical and acrobatic fantasy universe where, little by little, chaos and craziness give way to festivity and love regained.”

Whether that means anything to you, I don’t know. The only thing I have to say is that from the moment the curtains went up, I was mesmerized. And I wasn’t the only one…

Five minutes in, Tim turned to me and said, “I already want to see every other show they have.” And this is coming from a 32-year-old fisherman — not your typical patron of the arts!

What followed was a zany two hours of juggling, acrobatics, trapeze, tight-ropes, and dancing — at the most elite level, and set to beautiful music. The physical feats accomplished by the performers were incredible.

My mouth was LITERALLY agape for almost the entire show. (I know; I bet I looked really attractive.)

I knew this post was going to be difficult to write, because the show is near impossible to put into words. I hope that the photos and the following video give you a small preview of the magic you’ll experience if you see Zarkana. (If you’re reading this in your inbox, you may have to click over to the site to see the video.)

Really, the only thing I can say is: GO SEE IT. I loved Zarkana, but I’m pretty sure that any Cirque show will blow your mind. Best of all, Cirque du Soleil shows travel the world — so you might soon be able to see it in your city!

And though I normally am cheap, I’d recommend splurging on the best tickets you can get. One of the reasons our experience was so incredible is that we were sitting front and center (in the “Golden Circle), so we could see every intricate move and facial expression — and when the performers flew out into the audience, it was over our heads. Tickets range from $69-$180. 

After 15 years, my dream finally came true. It was SO worth the wait.

Have you ever seen a Cirque du Soleil show? What did you think?

A big merci to Cirque du Soleil for working with me! All opinions are totes my own.