Text by Carmen Ho for Crane.tv
In light of this week's stripping of Phantom of the Opera's title as Broadway's All-Time Highest Grossing Show, with the victorious Lion King making box-office history -- opening nearly 10 years after its rival, Crane.tv gets the lowdown on another production that has also been wowing millions worldwide since its premiere in 1994. Cirque du Soleil's Alegría, originated in Montreal, was performed for 15 years under a big top, (noticeable in the details of the stage design and use of aerial space) and now tours the world's arenas 10 weeks at a time. Crane.tv visits them on their opening night at Manchester Arena and happily spent the day behind-the-scenes.
Lars Kristensen, Artist Coach of the dazzling Power Track act takes a break from his training to tell us about the atmosphere amongst the 100-strong troupe that tours intensively together. Performers from 18 countries build up a diverse and highly creative community, and what keeps him on stage? "The adrenaline pumping in every show. You want to give 100 percent. It's an amazing feeling," he told us.
From dramatic synchronized trapeze and dangerous fire-knife dancing to Mongolian art of contortion, Alegría is a display of the human body's true potential and Cirque's flagship show is downright breathtaking. Spanish for "joy," spokesperson Genevieve Laurendeau describes how Cirque du Soleil has inspired all the other productions that have followed since.
Cirque du Soleil has a core mission to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world -- fairly ambitious, considering their humble beginnings. Cirque du Soleil began with 20 street performers in 1984 and is now the world's largest of its kind, reinventing the circus industry and concept as a whole. The secret is that it sees the world without limitations, as a company it constantly tries to push the boundaries of experimentation on a daily basis, and the energy is infectious.
An ode to energy, grace and the power of youth; ageless Alegría is clearly also that to the company that gave birth to it.
Alegría showing in Glasgow 13-15 April, Birmingham 18-22 April. For tickets www.livenation.co.uk
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