Craving Dole Whip

Disney & museum obsessed, homeschooling mom of 3, parenting to focus on experiences, not possessions. Sharing Disney tips, educational adventures and a few reviews. Constantly craving Dole Whip.


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Kurios–Cirque du Soleil’s Cabinet of Curiosities Experience

In Renaissance Europe, cabinets of curiosities or ‘cabinets of wonder’ were collections of uncategorized, unusual, interesting and rather odd objects.  Curiosities could include anything from undefined bones, seashells, taxidermy, and pebbles to crystals, egg shells, dried leaves, flowers, insect specimens, trinkets, artifacts and art.  (Sounds like my youngest daughter’s bedroom)

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Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios is a dream-like cabinet of wonder, brimming with steampunk-themed objects, puzzling characters, marvelous performances and breathtaking environments, all brought to life by the hands of a brilliant inventor.

This is a review of our entire Kurios Cabinet Des Curiosites experience.

My daughters and I attended the Kurios performance in Houston, Texas, at the Sam Houston Race Park on April 9, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.  It was our first time to see a Cirque du Soleil show.

Several days before the performance, I received a very detailed email from Cirque du Soleil with information about the venue and directions. (Thank you Cirque du Soleil!)

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Parking was $12.00, which I felt was too high, and only cash was accepted, though there was an ATM outside the parking lot.  Three parking lot attendants collected parking fees and several other attendants directed traffic to control the flow to the parking spaces.  The process was quick and organized.

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The Grand Chapiteau

 

 

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We walked from the car to the main entrance and went through the bag check security point.  The officers checked my bag and my daughter’s purse.  I always appreciate extra security and safety.

 

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Our first Cirque du Soleil show!

The energy and intrigue began as soon as we stepped inside the yellow and blue striped big top tents.

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Concessions selling popcorn, bottled water and snacks were on the right and Cirque Du Soleil merchandise booths were on our left.

A few props and photo opportunities were placed throughout the main tent.  Stringed lights lit the area, but the layout was very confusing and crowded.

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We walked through the main tent and back out into the blazing sun and walked into a second tent marked with the numbers of the even sections.

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A few portable bathrooms labeled for men, women, unisex and families were posted between the other yellow and blue striped tents.  The bathrooms were clean, though tiny.  The sinks provided non-potable water, soap and paper towels for hand washing.  There was a wheelchair accessible ramp on one of the units.

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After we used the restroom, we were directed to go into the tent entrance with the door number from our tickets, which was 8.

Each numbered door had an entrance that looked like the below picture, with outdoor benches and trash cans.  The doors were clearly marked.

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A friendly usher helped us find our seats, which were in section 104, row D, seats 24, 25 and 26.  I paid $136.00 total for each ticket.

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There was a bridge traversing the stage that guests could walk across before the show began and my youngest daughter was thrilled to go across and catch a glimpse of some backstage props.  While the seats were filling up, several performers entertained the early birds with quick skits and shenanigans.

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Once the lights dimmed, photography and video recording was not allowed.

 

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This is the last picture I took before the show began.

Kurios was approximately 2 hours long, with a 25 minute intermission.

The mesmerizing experience started with a show defining vignette–a grey-haired man in a white lab coat appeared to be laboriously working to accomplish something very important.  Several unusual mechanical robots and wacky inventions were littered across the stage.

At first, I could not figure out if the man was a frustrated science professor, evil genius, or brilliant inventor. I kept looking around for clues.

Centered in the middle of the stage, the inventor worked diligently and with urgency to tether and link an enormous chair to poles.  Simulated sounds of electricity traveling through the cables made it clear that something was about to happen.

Immediately, everything transformed into a surrealist perspective of reality and the captivating performances began.

Full of energy, surprise, intrigue and amazement, each segment took the traditional expectation of a ‘circus’ and injected hypnotic, thought-provoking shock and wonder scenes, creating a memorable and extraordinary experience.

A gigantic mechanical hand formed the base for a beautifully fluid contortion act, where the women’s interesting costumes resembled blue-ringed octopi and electric eels.

Rola Bola’s baffling aviator-themed balancing act was breathtaking and fearless.

 

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A precise and skilled violin master played music while a talented woman sang beautifully during the entire show.

Multiple inventive and ingenious acrobatic performances captivated my daughters.

Our favorite was the trampoline AcroNet acrobats, which tumbled, flipped, flew and spun through the air as if they were aquatic creatures gliding through the tranquil ocean.

A woman gracefully sailed above the stage, while performing dazzling maneuvers around a bicycle.  Two talented men used large straps to swoop and zoom high above the awestruck audience.

The most marvelous and almost confusing moment was when we realized there was an actual dinner party with an elaborately set table, food and guests, mirrored in a parallel universe high above the stage and sinking down from the ceiling.  The spellbinding moment still repeats over and over again in my mind’s eye.

The actors filmed a bizarre and unconventional ‘movie’ using only their hands as the main characters.  I loved it!

A traveling steam train transporting passengers parked right in the middle of the stage, unloading all kinds of unexpected, Victorian-era characters.  The constant movement and captivating interactions between the actors produced a multi-sensory experience.

During the entire Kurios show, I was reminded of the puzzling and bewildered feeling one experiences when attending a Blue Man Group performance.  My daughters and I took what we saw on stage and processed the images for several days.  I appreciate a puzzling experience that challenges perception and forces unconscious thoughts about existence and reality.

We missed about 40% of one act because our view was blocked by stage props and the performance solely faced the centermost seats.  However, it was a quick scene with a man pretending to be a cat on a couch.  Though frustrating, we did not allow it to erase any magic from the entire experience.

Our biggest complaint was the actual ‘big top’ venue–it was so very hot during the entire performance, I actually saw an audience member collapse.  People were sweating profusely and constantly fanning themselves.  It was absolutely miserable.  Unfortunately, the heat was distracting and certainly aggravating.

After the performance, my daughters and I went to dinner and drank an obscene amount of ice water.

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Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios was an alluring, steampunk-inspired, dazzling show with gripping and entertaining performances by amazingly talented people.  It is family-friendly and completely appropriate for all ages.

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Cirque du Soleil’s Kurios experience can be seen in Houston, Texas, until May 21, 2017.

Shows are held inside the Grand Chapiteau at the Sam Houston Race Park, 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, Texas, 77064.

Tickets can be purchased online here.

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Interested in other amazing surrealism experiences?  Click here to read all about the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Are you curious about homeschooling?  Click here to read 5 reasons why we chose to homeschool our profoundly gifted daughters.

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The Dali Museum

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Salvador Dali is arguably the most famous surrealist painter of all time.  He was born in Figueres, Spain in 1904, and hosted his first solo art show in Barcelona by the age of twenty-one.

His original, striking and dream-like images can be alarming, intriguing and thought provoking all at once.  Creating unconventional art in all kinds of mediums, Dali’s work conveys complex symbolism through paintings, drawings, film, sculptures, and photography.

By the time of his death in January of 1989, Salvador Dali reigned as the world’s most eccentric, flamboyant, and prominent member of the surrealism movement.  To this day, his peculiar work is celebrated by many and recognized by most.

In Florida, there is a breathtaking building showcasing the extraordinary work of this cutting-edge artist in a museum solely dedicated to his legacy.

Welcome to The Dali Museum.

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Located in the beautiful and charming city of St. Petersburg, The Dali Museum displays over 2,000 pieces of Salvador Dali’s creative artwork, including 96 oil paintings, sketches, sculptures, photographs and personal documents.

The building alone is unusual, innovative and dramatic, hinting at the surreal and imaginative contents inside.  A large, cubist-inspired concrete entrance with a calming water feature opens to a stunning glass paneled ceiling and a winding, ribbon-like spiral staircase.

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It is simply breathtaking.

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The Dali Museum exhibits the life work of Salvador Dali in a series of open rooms with floating walls.  Visitors can view Dali’s early impressionistic style and walk through the many series of his constantly evolving artistic themes.

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Admission includes a free-audio guide and public tours.  My daughters, ages 10 and 11, were given an interactive worksheet and treasure hunt which they greatly enjoyed.

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Dali’s slightly strange images are masterfully realistic, but placed into unrealistic settings, sometimes posing more questions than answers.

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The gifted visionary expressed himself in an entertainingly bizarre and outlandish manner, which visitors can perceive through many personal photographs.

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Though Salvador Dali is most famous for his expressive surrealist paintings, the brilliant artist also created three-dimensional supernatural sculptures.

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The whimsical and playful gardens, located on the grounds of the Dali museum, are just as alluring as his influential artwork.

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The Dali Wish Tree was a highlight of our outdoor exploration.

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My daughters tied wishes to the flowing strands, connecting their thoughts and hopes to other visitors.  It was a very peaceful experience.

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Dali’s artistic influence can be found not only in the architecture and design of this sublime museum, but obviously in the furniture, as well.

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Café Gala is a modern and appetizing café located inside the Dali Museum.  Named for Salvador Dali’s wife, the innovative café serves a culinary experience through Spanish-inspired tapas, small plates, soups and salads.

The café can be found on the first floor of the museum and paid admission is not required for guests who only wish to dine.

There are several indoor and outdoor tables with seating in the Avant-Garden patio and garden.

Try the mushroom and bacon Lardoon skewers, fried artichokes, serrano ham and Manchego croquettes, or the chilled tomato and cucumber soup.

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There is also a large, funky and eclectic gift shop full of interesting Dali-inspired and art-themed items:  perfume, umbrellas, t-shirts, jewelry, kitchenware, toys and mustache stickers.

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Our entire family enjoyed our Dali Museum experience.  Before we arrived in Florida, my daughters completed a full unit study focusing on surrealism and several surrealist artists, including Dali.  Visiting the museum and seeing his work in person brought the entire curriculum to life.  The Dali Museum was more spectacular than we imagined.

Museum admission prices are as follows:

FREE–Ages 5 and younger

$10.00–Ages 6-12

$17.00–Students ages 13-17

$17.00–Students ages 18+ with ID

$22.00–Firefighters, educators, military and police with ID

$22.00–Seniors ages 65+

$24.00–Ages 18-64

Members receive unlimited free admission.  Membership for an individual is $60 and family membership is $100.

Admission includes entrance into all museum galleries, a free audio guide and public tours.  The museum regularly hosts additional, non-permanent exhibits.

Visitors can download a Dali app and use their own earbuds for the audio tour, if preferred.

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The museum is open 7 days a week and only closes on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and during the St. Petersburg Grand Prix.

Museum hours are 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except Thursday.  Thursday hours are 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

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Onsite parking is available for $10.00.  Museum members park for free.

The Dali Museum is located at One Dali Blvd., St. Petersburg, Florida, 33701.  The main phone number is 727-823-3767.  Visit their website for more information at www.thedali.org.

Did you know that Salvador Dali and Walt Disney created a film together called “Destino”?

Click here to check out the book detailing the friendship and artwork shared by these two innovative geniuses.

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The Chihuly Collection at the Morean Arts Center is another amazing museum in St. Petersburg, FL.  Click here to read all about it!

Do you love blown glass artwork?  Ever want to create your own?  Click here to learn all about a super cool glass blowing experience in St. Petersburg, FL.

Curious about homeschooling?  Click here to read the top 5 reasons we homeschool our profoundly gifted daughters.