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La Nouba has an astonishing set and a wonderful fasttrack routine using a chorus of ex-Olympians that closes the show. (Fasttrack is a long, slender trampoline, in this case in an X shape, on which acrobats run, jump, and tumble. Unfortunately, La Nouba is Cirque du Soleil at its worst--overblown, pretentious, and trite. The theme (yet again) is "ordinary person's life is transformed by the circus," and there are way too many characters running around and posing on the stage without contributing to the show in a meaningful way. The solo and duo acts are generally weak, with the exception of the chair-balancer from Nouvelle Experience. Perhaps the strong final act and the excellent chorus choreography throughout is an indication of a potential new direction for Cirque--rather than trying to create solo/duo acts with choreographers and replaceable performers, why not go back to hiring existing circus performers and surround them with a top-notch chorus?

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