Alegria Cirque du Soleil review
When Cirque du Soleil came to town it was seen as the future of all things circusy…
I am sitting in the decadent Royal Albert Hall, watching a trio of curious bird-like creatures as they wander about, inspecting and at times heckling the crowd. Another surly looking man with a humped back, a top hat, and a red velvet waistcoat looks on as suddenly a band dressed all in silver and white comes marching in, horns blaring. Dreaming? No, this is the world of Cirque du Soleil, where for a couple of hours at least, nothing, and everything is real.
Alegria, the wondrous travelling show from the now legendary Cirque players, is yet another masterful feather in an already quite plumed cap. It has many of the same joyful themes found in other Cirque shows; brightly coloured costuming, beautiful original choreography and score, and quirky, memorable characters. Yet somehow, Alegria, a Spanish word for ‘elation’, stands apart, as it seems to be an homage to the humble beginnings of travelling circus acts.
All of the classic elements are here in this fantastic world, the promised thrills, chills, and death-defying acts from days of childhood memory brought to life, updated and turned on their head for a new enchanted audience. It is this idea, the grown-up circus, that makes Cirque du Soleil so successful. What child wasn’t captivated by the woman on the trapeze, or the antics of the clown?
Every element that we know and love can be found in these performances, and – for a moment – we are again transfixed.
Alegria transports us to a time when fantasy was a part of everyday life; a time of Kings, Queens, magicians and fools. These are the days of the travelling family, criss-crossing Old Europe in caravans and playing to a never-ending succession of villages and hamlets. Years later, in much the same way, a small band of talented Canadian performers would roam the streets of Quebec City, dancing, breathing fire, and playing music.
This troupe would later meet with other performers from all over the world, and organize themselves into a cohesive travelling band. Since its inception, Cirque du Soleil has made nearly 250 stops in over 100 cities, worldwide. It has resident shows in renowned Las Vegas hotels, and six touring shows in Asia, Europe, and even Japan.
From the featured stunning colour photography it is obvious why this Circus of the Sun continues to captivate our hearts, bringing our wildest dreams to the stage and reminding us that there is still magic to be had, if we only look for it.
Alegria runs at the Royal Albert Hall until 11 February, 2007. The tour then travels to Barcelona, Spain for a new run starting 22 February.
For more information, visit CirqueduSoleil.com.
cirque du soleil founder -Guy Laliberte
alegria director – Franco Dragone
creative director – Gilles Ste-Croix
costumes – Dominique Lemieux