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  1. #1

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    Does Busch Gardens' Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy show have a sinister side?

    So, I've seen this show four times now, and it's a lot of fun. But it seems to have a dark side to me. Here, for comparison, I'll post someone else's synopsis of the show, and then mine.

    Someone Else's Synopsis:
    I'm not sure of the correct terminology for the acts, costumes or props so excuse my weird way of describing the show. Everything is done to music and all the cast is wearing animal or African themed costumes. I may have missed something in the following since I used the photos I took throughout the show to recreate the scenes and I may not have taken photos of everything.
    It starts off with some animal costumed performers walking around and doing things. It then goes to 2 mime guys in African garb who take a man and woman up on stage and makes them follow their lead for comic purposes. Could be fun to be these volunteers, especially the woman. Next is a song and dance scene where we are introduced to the central star role, a woman singer who appears throughout the rest of the show. She is quite lovely and the songs, I guess, tell a story but this was the first time I heard it and didn't catch the words. That scene ends and a ball bounce juggler act set to music is next. Quite good even though he lost control of a few balls but that didn't phase him. The woman song and dance act resumes and leads into 2 woman contortionists in lizard looking costumes who look like they used to be in the touring Chinese acrobat show of young performers. A violinist accompanies them.
    The woman comes back and does a scene with one of the mime guys and faux-animal performers. This leads into what I thought was the highlight act, a man balancing on a platform act. He does various juggling and balancing moves while standing on boards and/or cylinders or stacking interlocking boards. Truly an amazing feat of balance and daring because he is about 15 feet up when he does his big show stopping maneuver.
    The woman comes back out and sings while a man and woman do an acrobat rope swinging act with various performers dancing around. The waterfall along the front of the stage was on which made what he did very interesting. This act may be the second best act in my opinion.
    The show then finishes up with the woman singer leading all the cast in a big finale number. Big applause and bows followed. The cast then stands along the front of the audience for pictures as everyone files out the side doors.

    My Synopsis:
    We see an African jungle. There are several animals in this jungle. A single turtle slowly walks from one edge of the jungle to the other. This is made out as being a unique occurrence, and at least one other animal expresses that they dislike the turtle and that the show cannot start until the turtle leaves the jungle. I interpret the turtle as being the last turtle of a great migration. Three rocks appear. Tribesmen come out of two of them, and an ostrich comes out of the other one. The tribesmen get rid of the ostrich and then go out into the audience.
    One of them gets a male audience member and the other one gets a female audence member. These audience members are brought into the jungle and forced to perform a bizarre ritual involving arm movements and, on one occasion, sexual advances. This almost always disorients the female audience member. The male audience member is sent back into the audience, as his part of the ritual is done. The tribesmen then stare at the female audience member for a few seconds and drag her, screaming, backstage. Note that I didn't say "offstage". She's not returning to the audience. The audience never sees her again and we can presume that she was killed.
    A woman in a leopard skin named Mother Nature appears and sings about how happy she is to be here and how in-tune she is with nature. Now, this might be a little bit of a jump but my assumption is that the ritual with the audience members (and the human sacrifice) was performed to summon Mother Nature. Why did they start the ritual as soon as the last turtle of the Great Turtle Migration exited the jungle? Well, it could have been coincidence, or maybe that's when the ritual must be performed for it to work. All this time, the tribesman who sacrificed the audience member is following Mother Nature around and imitating her movements implying some sort of connection.

    We then see a frog who is juggling white balls. We get several minues of this. It seems inexplicable, but then we get our answer with another musical number from Mother Nature where she explains how she has the ability to control animals. It's a very creepy song, sung slowly and seductively. All this time, the tribesman who sacrificed the audience member is still "connected to" Mother Nature.
    Then some contortionist lizards come out and get as close to lesbian sex as you can get in a family show. Now, maybe Mother Nature just swings that way. But I think it's more likely that the tribesman summoned Mother Nature to control her and gain her powers, and is using them to perv out. After the vaguely sexy lixard thing, Mother Nature gets another musical number
    and during it, the link between the tribesman and Mother Nature seems to weaken.
    During this musical number, she's singing about "personality", and on one occasion forces the tribesman into a submissive position and steps on him. She then literally physically forces him to smile. After that they return to their usual roles, but it's become apparent that the control is two-way.
    Then, we get another animal-controlling bit. The tribesman directly participates in this one, and it's obvious that it's his decision, not Mother Nature's. He controls a family of leopards (using Mother Nature's power, obviously, otherwise the leopards wouldn't just do everything he tells them to) to build a huge structure and then do balancing acts on top of it. Now, you could say that these structures are just really well designed. But they aren't, there seems to be some effect on gravity. Perhaps this is another one of Mother Nature's powers?
    We get confirmation of that next. Two lovers begin to float in the air, as Mother Nature sings about how they're in love with each other and love the sensation of flying as well. During this number, the tribesman has become very weak, and is in fact sleeping. This is a continuation of the submissiveness in Personality. He is losing his control over Mother Nature, and Mother Nature is regaining her control of him.
    Mother Nature then makes it rain, and the entire cast (minus the audience members, of course-the male one is still in the audience, and the female one is still dead) come out to dance to a reprise of Mother Nature's first song. The tribesman reawakens, but he has the same forced smile as in Personality-he is now completely controlled by Mother Nature.
    So basically, I see the story as "A tribesman performs a murderous ritual to control Mother Nature, but after twenty five or so minutes it quits working and he becomes a slave of Mother Nature".
    The five worst crimes in the world, in no particular order, are genocide, rape, murder, torture, and flash photography on Space Mountain.

  2. #2

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    Re: Does Busch Gardens' Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy show have a sinister side?

    I have one thing to say, what in the world are you smoking?

  3. #3

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    Re: Does Busch Gardens' Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy show have a sinister side?

    Omega, you are thinking WAY to hard about this. Wow. I've only seen the show once (want to see it again before it goes away Labor Day weekend), but I didn't see anything "sinister" about it. What I saw was a good show with some great acts and some funny comic relief. And that's all there is to it.

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