Cirque du Soleil’s latest arena production “Corteo” is coming to town for a limited run as part of its North American tour. Cirque du Soleil, established in 1984 in Montreal and now a world leader in circus arts, will present only seven performances at the Royal Farms Arena July 3 to 7.
Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a festive parade imagined by a clown named Mauro the Dreamer Clown. The premise of the show is that Mauro pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by angels. According to Cirque, Corteo juxtaposes “the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, to highlight the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us.”
The show first premiered in Montreal under the Big Top in April 2005, and since then, more than eight million people in 19 countries on four continents have seen it. Corteo combines theatrics, acrobatics and one-of-a-kind costumes, stages and sets to set the stage of the mysterious space between heaven and earth. The set curtains, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and the central curtains, which were hand painted, give a grandiose feel.
To create more than 260 costumes for Corteo’s cast, Costume Designer Dominique Lemieux set out to accentuate the natural beauty of the artists. She used more than a hundred different fabrics and trims, concentrating on a subtle color palette that includes blues, pinks, fuchsia and gold with appliqued spangles and jewels.
There are numerous angel characters in Corteo, such as the little angel, the archangels and the grand angels. On average, each angel dress requires 25 meters of fabric, which translates to over 500 meters of material (or the approximate length of five football fields) appearing on stage each night.
The cast of Corteo, which is one of 20 different Cirque shows simultaneously running throughout the world, includes 51 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world. The cast represents more than 18 nationalities. Performers are from Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Romania, Russia, United Kingdom, Ukraine, United States and Uzbekistan.
Some of the acts in Corteo include:
A ladder specialist amazes the audience with his unnerving balance and finesse as he performs on various ladders, trying desperately to reach the angel who is watching him from above.
Like a gaggle of young kids playing in their grandparents’ room, six artists jump on two 600-pound beds that move on rotating platforms. In a playful atmosphere, they perform acrobatic feats, each more daring than the last.
Four women, the Dreamer Clown’s former loves, come together in dreamlike joy. They perform aerial acrobatics on three giant chandeliers that spin above Mauro’s bed.
Five artists perform solos and group figures on Cyr wheels. The simplicity of the Cyr wheels’ line — a pure circle — sets off the intricate and energetic performance.
In this mesmerizing act, a duet uses aerial straps to create a magical and tender connection that enchants the audience with beautiful displays of agility, balance and strength.
Accompanied by the distant sounds of guitar and impassioned vocals, a young ingénue discovers the sheer pleasure of exploring movement and contortion-like shapes while flying above the ground on a suspended pole.
Surrounded by two groups of artists lending rhythm to the act with their voices and percussion work, two acrobats redefine the teeterboard technique in an act where speed is rivaled only by complexity.
Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo at Royal Farms Arena
201 W. Baltimore St., Baltimore, MD 21201
Wednesday, July 3, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, July 4, 2019 – 3:30 p.m.
Friday, July 5, 2019 – 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 6, 2019 – 3:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 7, 2019 – 1 p.m. & 5 p.m.
For more information about Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo and to purchase tickets, please go to www.cirquedu soleil.com/usa/baltimore/corteo/buy-tickets.