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Thursday in Review

Week in Review

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The Taco Bell Arena was a circus of Cirque fans Oct. 11, as people poured into the venue for opening night of Cirque du Soleil's Dralion, a production that debuted in Montreal in 1999.

While the focus was on Chinese acrobatic arts--including red-saturated dance numbers and golden dragons lurching forth on rolling balls--the evening was also littered with a Small World's worth of other cultural stereotypes. There was a bejeweled Indian princess, a grass skirt-encircled African hip-shaker and a minx-like Arabian acrobat, suspended from the high ceiling in a swinging hoop.

But some of the evening's highlights were its more bizarre moments--a trampoline sequence in which acrobats vertically mounted the walls of a massive, steampunk-ish set piece, jumping onto ledges with Nintendo-esque ease; a juggling David Bowie look-a-like who emerged from a spider; and a creepy Victorian waltz, in which the dance partners were suspended white ghosts. And all of this was tied together expertly with one of the more hilarious (and artfully deceptive) clown acts I've seen in a Cirque show thus far.

Moving from cirque to circuits, artist and Boise State University assistant professor Daehwan Cho's new exhibit ABST-RED plays with the boundary between the digital and real worlds. The show debuted Oct. 11 at the Boise State Student Union Building Gallery. According to Boise Weekly's Andrew Crisp:

"The installation piece, 'Life in Candles,' makes that dichotomy most apparent. Four LCD screens are affixed to a wall, showing the image of a burning candle. The flames appear to flicker because of a small fan blowing air at the end of the row. The trick works. On Thursday, after watching the candles for a few minutes, a young female viewer leaned over to blow on the digital flame."

Cho's work will remain up until Sunday, Nov. 4.

And speaking of blurring lines, RAW once again took over the Powerhouse Events Center Oct. 11, to straddle the line between cocktail party and multi-disciplinary arts happening with Provocations. According to BW's Josh Gross:

"Highlights of the visual arts section included a series of recycled jewelry from Monica Macha, photography from Synchrnyze, aka Ronnie Soldano, and stark black-and-white paintings of snowy landscapes from Aaron Bell."

Gross also contemplated the overall effect of the series:

"As has become par for the course at RAW events, the dressed-to-the-nines and loud-mouthed paid minimal attention to what was happening on stage and spent their energy creating a general din of chitchat that made it even more difficult for the interested few to follow the action. ... If the intention of RAW is promote and celebrate art, it struggles for that reason. But if the intention is to use art as an excuse to throw a fancy shindig, it is a paragon of success, packing The Powerhouse monthly with faces new to both the production and consumption sides of Boise's arts scene."

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