‘Joy’ for Cirque du Soleil in Vancouver as the company stages its first show in Canada post-COVID – Surrey Now-Leader

Cirque du Soleil is back in Vancouver with a new look “Alegria”, the circus company’s first show in Canada since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a race this spring, a 2,600-seat “Big Top” is set up at Concord Pacific Place as a “round-the-round” stage for the 53 performers, including acrobats, clowns, musicians and singers from 19 countries. .

Among them is German trapeze artist Nicolai Kuntz, who toured with the revived “Alegria” from 2018, two years before the pandemic shut down the circus.

With a safety line but no net, Kuntz performs her synchronized trapeze duet on swings with a female partner, Julia.

“My character is an angel who is there to inspire the other characters to live in harmony,” explained Kuntz, delighted to return to work with the Montreal traveling circus.

“During the pandemic, I didn’t have the chance to work – everything closed and I went back to Germany,” he recalls. “I tried to stay in shape as much as possible, but it was difficult with the fitness studios closed as well. I found a spot with a little trapeze and worked with it and tried to stay in shape, waiting for an encore.

On Wednesday afternoon (March 23), Kuntz spoke during a break in the marquee’s art tent, where he and the other performers warm up, practice, make up and change into elaborate costumes for ” Alegria”, which opens on Friday, March 25. ) and continues through June 5.

“We’ve been here over three months,” noted tour publicist Francis Jalbert, who highlighted a “joy” of a show – the title, in Spanish – that played out in Seattle ahead of arrive at False Creek on the Rogers Arena side of the waterway.

The last time Cirque du Soleil toured Vancouver was with “Luzia” in the fall of 2019.

“This week is the first show in Canada for Cirque du Soleil since the pandemic, so as a Canadian company, we are thrilled to finally be back in Canada,” said Jalbert. “For the business, there was a change of ownership during the pandemic, and now it’s restarted. We’re back in full force.

Launched in 1994, “Alegria” entertained around 14 million viewers in 255 cities around the world before being mothballed nearly two decades later.

“The original version really helped establish Cirque du Soleil’s reputation around the world,” confirmed Jalbert. “When the show closed in 2013, we just didn’t know where to send him because he’d been all over the world. So people started asking us to bring him back, and some of them didn’t. had a chance to see ‘Alegria’ so for its 25th anniversary we brought it back but completely redesigned it There are elements you may recognize from the original production but it’s like seeing a whole new today’s show, not the 1994 one.”

The show is billed as “an uplifting immersive experience” for all ages, featuring Mr. Fleur, Aristocrats, Nymphs and other characters in acts such as Acro Poles, German Wheel, Synchronized Trapeze Duo, Fire Knife Dance, Snowstorm and more.

The storyline of the circus show focuses on “a once glorious kingdom that has lost its king”, where “Alegría witnesses the power struggle at play between the old order and a new movement yearning for hope and renewal “.

For spring dates in Vancouver, tickets can be purchased at cirquedusoleil.com/alegria.

Meanwhile, another traveling circus will return to Surrey in early summer. Royal Canadian International Circus dates for 2022 include Cloverdale Fairgrounds June 23-26, with eight shows inside a 2,700-seat ‘Big Top’ tent, and additional performances in Richmond the following week.

The Calgary-based company’s North American tour will visit 15 venues for 189 shows from May to October this year, according to information posted on royalcanadiancircus.ca, where ticket sales began on March 15.

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