Cirque du Soleil approached Ishioka to design costumes for their 2002 production 'Varekai', based loosely on the Greek drama of Icarus. There are over 130 costumes for the production comprised of over 600 elements, which require an estimated 250 hours a week to maintain. Varekai is argued to be Ishioka's most groundbreaking work, based around ancient greek myths and set in a forest full of exotic creatures. Varekai's title means "wherever" in the Romani language, and the show is an "acrobatic tribute to the nomadic soul". The show begins with the Greek myth of Icarus, picking up where the myth leaves off, reimagining the story of what happened to Icarus after he flew too close to the sun and fell from the sky. In Varekai, rather than drowning in the sea below him, Icarus lands in a lush forest full of exotic creatures.
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