Many of us have fond childhood memories of the circus; the popcorn, the big top, the cotton candy, the clowns. Cirque du Soleilâs Alegria is all of that and so much more! Having heard for many years about this remarkable spectacle, I had high prospects, all of which were exceeded! Young and old will be astounded and amazed by this truly dazzling performance!
âFrom a group of 20 street performers at its beginning in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Quebec based organization providing high quality artistic entertainment. It began in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Quebec City in Canada. There, a band of colorful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire and playing music. They were Les Ăchassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (The Baie-Saint-Paul Stiltwalkers), a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers, including Guy LaibertĂ¨, who founded Cirque du SoleilâŚ
In 1984 Quebec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canadaâs discovery by Jaques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities across the province. Guy LaibertĂ¨ presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasnât been stopped since!â
Cirque du Soleil has presented 21 different shows all around the world including Saltimbanco, Varekai, Quidam, Corteo, Kooza, Ovo, Cirque 2010, Banana Shpeel, Wintuk and MystĂ¨re, to name a few. This highly acclaimed performance of Alegria, radiantly directed by Franco Dragone, started in 1994 in Montreal, Canada and has been viewed by over 10 million people around the world. The word Alegria means âelation and joyâ in Spanish, and that is the very essence of this program. Through an array of acrobatics, song, dance and other daring feats we are transported into the whimsical world of Alegria.
A cast of characters set the scene for this exuberant manifestation. Fleur, the wicked hunchback serves as a guide through Alegria. The Old Birds, once young and attractive and now old and ugly, strut about the stage admiring themselves in mirror less frames, unaware of what they have become. The beautiful White Singer narrates through song. She sings of joy and happiness while her alter ego The Black Singer echoes melancholy and despair.
The more than 55 performers move about the stage in eight different acts including The Synchronized Trapeze, Power Track, Hand Balancing, Fire-Knife Dancing, Russian Bars, Contortion, Aerial High Bar, Cyr Wheel and Juggling. You will not be able to take your eyes off of these mind-boggling and breath taking acts. You simply have to see this for yourself!
The show is set to a powerful and upbeat soundtrack by composer RĂ¨nĂ¨ DupĂ¨rĂ¨. The sound of Alegria is a unique fusion of French, Mediterranean, African and Spanish influences. In 1994 the album sat at the top of the Billboard charts and Alegria is currently Cirque du Soleilâs best selling album to date. DupĂ¨rĂ¨ created his own record company in 1998 and has composed for other Cirque du Soleil shows.
In sync with this dynamic soundtrack, is a mind blowing light display by designer Luc Lafortune. He has been associated with Cirque since it began and has designed12 of their shows. In 2002 he designed lighting for numerous musical acts including Peter Gabrielâs World Tour, No Doubt, The Eagles and Gypsy Kings.
Watching these immensely talented performers and acrobats travel across the large stage would not be nearly as mesmerizing without incredibly lavish costumes by designer Dominique Lemieux. Lemieux designed costumes in bright, rich colors of blue, purple, green and other pastel hues. Meticulously detailed with lace, beads and sequins, these outfits are designed as a nod to the sumptuous garb of the French aristocracy at Versailles. Each of the 400 costume pieces has at least 200 jewels hand sewn into them and the average costume takes about 200 hours to construct.
Cirque du Soleilâs Alegria was an unforgettable experience and is an absolute must see! Experience the magic for yourself!
Sears Centere Pavilion
Wednesday, March 3 7:30pm
Thursday, March 4 at 7:30pm
Friday, March 6 at 7:30pm
Saturday, March 6 at 3:30pm and 7:30pm
Sunday March 7 at 1pm and 5pm
For tickets call 1-800-745-3000, or visit www.criquedusoleil.com/alegria
Category 1, 2,3 tickets
Adults: From $35-$75
Children (12 and under): From $28-$60
Military, Seniors and Students: From $31.50-$67.50
Children (12 and under):$76
Military, Seniors and Students: $85.50