I have been to numerous Cirque du Soleil shows before but none of them compare to my experience of their newest show ECHO which had their Atlanta premiere last week under the big top at Atlantic Station. With ECHO I sat in Row AA, the front row that is a mere inches from the stage. I’ve never sat this close for a Cirque performance before, and it absolutely makes a difference. Even more so with ECHO as the show makes wonderful use of verticality in its acts. To say I was blown away would be an understatement; it is one of the best things I’ve seen, period. ECHO is a vibrant, awe-inspiring, and magical acrobatic show that showcase the best Cirque du Soleil has to offer with incredible talent and heart. There is nothing quite like it.
The story of ECHO follows a curious and adventurous young girl name Future who, along with her best friend Dog, encounter a mysterious cube within a fantasy world. Through their bond with animals and nature, they are able to shape and rebuild the world, creating something beautiful that is harmonious with all people, plants, and animals. It’s a world we all strive to live in, and ECHO brings that dream to reality in stunning fashion.
If you’ve ever been to a Cirque show, you already know how expertly crafted and precise every act is, and ECHO is no different. The talent on display is on a whole different level compared to any other acrobatic performances I’ve seen. The cube mentioned in the story serves as the centerpiece of the show. It’s presence constantly shifting to meet the need of the performers. In the opening act, it’s a rotating wall the performance artists leap and crawl around while attached to wires. Sitting in the front row, there were moments the were literally above my head as they push themselves off the wall and fly around to another corner of the cube. In other acts, blocks of the cube are used as props for comedy skits or for stacking to ridiculous heights. At one point during the show the entire cube is opened to reveal two slackwire performers precisely tiptoeing back and forth on the thinnest of lines as if they were floating on clouds. In another scene, the cube houses a giant mechanical person. You never really know what magical creation is going to emerge from the cube next, but you know whatever it is will be amazing.
ECHO also features plenty of the aerialist and acrobatic acts we’ve seen in previous Cirque shows as well. That doesn’t make them any less spectacular to see. Personally, watching them from the front row brought a whole new level of amazement and respect to the talent of the performers. Being just a few feet away from them, you really get a sense of the scale when they’re dangling dozens of feet in the air or flying from one side of the stage to the other. I could see the concentration on their face, the definition in their muscles, and most satisfyingly the joy they bring to the entire audience when they successfully pull off what seems like the impossible. It’s a magical thing to witness from any distance or angle, but up close it feels extra special.
Cirque du Soleil knows how to always put on a good show, and ECHO is no exception. Every moment makes you feel like a kid again, watching people turn into real life superheroes. I am always excited when I can see the giant tent at Atlantic Station as I drive down I-85 into the city because I know Cirque is in town. If you live in Atlanta, ECHO is one show I implore you not to miss. You won’t be disappointed.
ECHO is here in Atlanta at Atlantic Station now through January 21, 2024. Tickets are available on Cirque du Soleil’s official website.