Montréal, Canada-based Cirque du Soleil® will bring its critically acclaimed touring production of Alegría to the RBC Center in Raleigh, NC, for eight performances only, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 6th, and continuing through Sunday, June 10th. Alegría is one of 22 different shows that Cirque du Soleil produces worldwide.
Power Track (photo by Daniel Desmarais)
Contortionists (photo by Camirand)
According to Cirque du Soleil:
“Alegría is a classic Cirque du Soleil production that has received international acclaim and wowed over 10 million people worldwide since it premiered in 1994 in Montréal. After 15 years performing under the big top, Alegría embarked on a new journey in May 2009, and is now presented in arenas throughout the United States and Canada.
“A Spanish word for ‘elation,’ ‘joy,’ and ‘jubilation,’ Alegría features an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 15 countries. Alegría has 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 2½ hour spectacle (with intermission) showcases breathtaking acrobatics, including the 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. Imagine two agile performers who bring alive the Mongolian art of contortion and artists manipulating flaming knives around their bodies in the rhythmic and dangerous Fire-Knife Dance.
“The vibrancy of youth is alive in fast-paced Power Track, a brilliant display of synchronized choreography and tumbling on a trampoline system that is magically 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.
“Alegría is more than a show … it is an exciting and unique experience that will captivate all ages.”
The Cirque du Soleil creative team for Alegría includes company founder and artistic guide Guy Laliberté, artistic guide Gilles Ste-Croix, composer and arranger René Dupéré, director Franco Dragone, choreographer Debra Brown, set designer Michel Crête, lighting designer Luc Lafortune, costume designer Dominique Lemieux, and sound designer Guy Desrochers.
In the press kit for Alegría, Cirque du Soleil notes:
“From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from close to 50 different countries.
“Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in nearly 300 cities on five continents. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montréal, Canada….
“THE MISSION: The mission of Cirque du Soleil is to invoke the imagination, provoke the senses, and evoke the emotions of people around the world.
“THE CREATION OF CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Québec City in Canada. There, in the early 1980s, a band of colourful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music. They were Les Échassiers 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 Laliberté, who founded Cirque du Soleil.
“The troupe went on to found Le Club des talons hauts (The High Heels Club), and then, in 1982, organized La Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, a cultural event in which street performers from all over met to exchange ideas and enliven the streets of the town for a few days. La Fête foraine was repeated in 1983 and 1984. Le Club des talons hauts attracted notice, and Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix, and their cronies began to cherish a crazy dream: to create a Québec circus and take the troupe travelling around the world.
“In 1984, Québec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since! …
“For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/.
SECOND OPINION: July 1st Raleigh, NC News & Observer preview by Théoden Janes: http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/07/01/1310669/running-away-to-the-cirque.html; and May 21st Raleigh, NC WRAL-TV RaleighWood: Pop Culture with a Triangle Twist blog by Kathy Hanrahan: http://www.wral.com/entertainment/blogpost/9619755/.
The RBC Center presents Cirque du Soleil in ALEGRÍA at 7:30 p.m. July 6 and 7, 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. July 8 and 9, and 1 and 5 p.m. July 10 at 1400 Edwards Mill Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27607.
TICKETS: $45.75-$108.65 (including fees).
RBC Center Box Office: Buy in person.
Ticketmaster: 800/745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115097/1329660.
GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/ 861-5457, email@example.com, or http://www.rbccenter.com/default.asp?RBCcenter=84&urlkeyword=Group_Sales.
VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/alegria/extras/videos.aspx.
DIRECTIONS: http://www.rbccenter.com/default.asp?RBCcenter=170&urlkeyword=Directions & Maps.
Alegría: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/shows/alegria/default.aspx (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alegría_(Cirque_du_Soleil) (Wikipedia).
Cirque du Soleil: http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/en/home.aspx#/en/home/americas/usa.aspx (official website) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirque_du_Soleil (Wikipedia).
Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.
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