Cirque du Soleil Alegria
The critically-acclaimed Cirque du Soleil
touring production of Alegría
is coming to northeast Ohio next month for eight awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping, performances.
Cleveland’s Wolstein Center will host the acrobatic, synchronized, death-defying and artistic magical performance of this one-of-a-kind touring institution, which has already been marveled at by more than 10 million people worldwide since the show debuted in 1994.
Alegria, which is Spanish for joy and jubilation, features an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 15 countries and showcases breathtaking acrobatics. In other words, this is not just another circus
The Cirque du Soleil
pressroom describes Alegría
as “a baroque and operatic style with flamboyant costumes, original music performed live and an elaborate set that serves to enhance the astonishing spectacle of athleticism and artistry. The result is an impressive mix of skill, strength and speed combined with elegant, almost ethereal performances.”
The two-plus-hour spectacle showcases breathtaking acrobatics including a dramatically sensuous Synchro Trapeze and the high-energy Aerial High Bars where daring aerialists fly to catchers swinging more than 40 feet above the stage. Two agile performers bring alive the Mongolian art of contortion and artists manipulating flaming knives around their bodies in the rhythmic and dangerous Fire-Knife Dance.
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The vibrancy of youth is alive in the fast-paced Power Track, a brilliant display of synchronized choreography and tumbling on a trampoline system that is revealed under the stage floor. In Russian Bars, artists fly through the air with spectacular somersaults and mid-air twists, landing on four-inch wide bars perched on the sturdy shoulders of the catchers.
is a departure from the Cirque’s usual bright lights and circus atmosphere. The production uses more dramatic, dark lighting that personifies the struggles to find freedom. The stage set uses sharp angles to draw in the crowd and invoke a sense of oppressiveness.
The lively and emotional musical score moves between jazz, pop, tango and klezmer. The band replicates the sound of traveling minstrels by using acoustic instruments, including an accordion, as well as the old-time gravelly and genuine voice of the tough street. But in counterpoint the synthesizer arrangements also reflect the inevitability of change.
In 1994 and 1995 it spent several weeks at the top of the Billboard charts in the world music, and continues to sell, as do several other Cirque du Soleil
recordings. The music of Alegría
has proven extremely popular and the show’s soundtrack remains the best-selling Cirque du Soleil album to date
The lavish costumes for the characters representing the Old Order–Fleur, the Old Birds and the Singers–are made from richly-colored fabrics which are painstakingly hand-detailed with lace, feathers and sequins. They evoke the flamboyant costumes worn by the aristocracy at Versailles and other European palaces of the period.
The costumes are of the New Order of gold-clad Bronx, Nymphs and Angels which reflect the same rich tones, with less decoration, but more luminous for these young creatures. The materials are lighter and emphasize the agile bodies of these characters.
Topped with a giant dome and decorated with stylistic columns and balustrades, the Alegría
set is an imposing monument. The structure does not represent any specific building, but the dome shape is an architectural symbol of many universally-known and powerful institutions, such as churches and government buildings.
Spiral ramps on both sides of the stage lead downwards, symbolizing the unknown. The lighting is designed to reflect a nostalgic atmosphere, like that of a 17th century ballroom. The autumnal tones create the luminous obscurity of the show.
Longtime accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-eater Guy Laliberté, who was born in Québec City in 1959 is the founder of Cirque du Soleil
. He founded Quebec’s first internationally-renowned circus with the support of a small group of supporters and accomplices. A bold visionary, Guy Laliberté recognized and cultivated the talents of the street performers from the Fête foraine
de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil
Laliberté was the first to orchestrate the marriage of cultures and artistic and acrobatic disciplines that is the cornerstone of Cirque du Soleil
Since 1984, he has guided the creative team through the creation of every show and contributed to elevating the circus arts to the level of the great artistic disciplines. Cirque du Soleil
has become an international organization, as much in terms of its makeup as in the scope of its activities and influence.
Guy Laliberté now heads an organization with activities on five continents. In 2007, Guy Laliberté entered into a second lifetime commitment by creating the ONE DROP Foundation to fight poverty around the world by providing sustainable access to safe water. This new dream stems from the knowledge that the right to water is key to the survival of individuals and communities all over the world and from the values which have been at the heart of Cirque du Soleil
since its inception: the belief that life gives back what you have given and even the smallest gesture will make a difference.
Cirque du Soleil Facts:
- In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today, the business has 5,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,200 artists.
- At the Montreal International Headquarters, are close to 2,000 employees.
- More than 100 types of occupations can be found at Cirque du Soleil.
- The average age of employees is 37.
- The company’s employees and artists represent close to 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.
- Close to 100 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984.
- Close to 15 million people will see a Cirque du Soleil show in 2010.
- Cirque du Soleil hasn’t received any grants from the public or private sectors since 1992.
April 7 and April 8 at 7:30 p.m.
April 9 and April 10 at 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
April 11 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.
$35 to $75 for adults, $28 to $60 for children, and $31.50 to $67.50 for military personnel.