Starting with a behind the scenes walk through, you begin to get a little peek of just how extravagant this stage show will be. Walking past the decorative curtains through to the smaller side of the two back stages, we watched the stage workers filling large balloons with helium, for an act we will see later on in the evening. Just a small bit of wardrobe lingered around like angel wings and such, I was mostly entranced by the glimpse of the chandelier I could see hanging on stage with a performer practicing her acrobatics in and around the outside.
Max Batista, publicist for Cirque du Soleil, walked us through the behind the scenes, seeing where these 51 performers from 18 different countries rehearse and train every day to bring you the stunning show night after night. Each component is labeled with a special tag, allowing for a complete tear down in only 4 hours’ time. The stage alone separates into 172 individual pieces allowing for more compact tear down. Each of the pieces fit together in the trucks like if one were playing a Tetris game and once the 21 trucks are loaded fully, and then they can continue to the next destination. Within these 21 trucks, you will find workout equipment, props, costumes and even their own washer & dryers to travel with. Everything they will need for these many months out on the road, traveling from city to city. The performers themselves travel by plane or bus depending on the distance between and stay at hotels once they arrive at their destinations.
One of the things that interested me the most were just all the details that goes into creating the costuming for the performers. Some can have up to 5 costume changes a night and each performer is measured from head to toe, a full body scan that pinpoints 300 different areas in order to custom tailor the costume to its owner. Just one of the small touches that go into the fabulous creations that you see before you on stage. Each performer does their own makeup, which is sponsored by M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Ben Nye, specially creating custom colors to coordinate with the costumes the performers will be wearing.
A custom made “zip-line” was developed especially for this show. In the story-line, it requires the performers to disappear on one side of the stage just to reappear on the opposite side of the stage rather instantaneously. Therefore, they created something called the crossover machine, which does just as it sounds, allows the performer to cross back under the stage by holding onto a rope, which mechanically pulls them to the other side allowing them to then reappear back onto stage and continue with the story. I very much wanted to try it out for myself but that probably would not have been very professional of me. 😀
Max then introduced me to Johan Juslin, a juggler from Finland and part of the juggling trio that will be on stage performing. Johan has about four costume changes this evening with one of them being very quick! Johan is only 26 yrs. old but has been juggling for 16yrs now. When he was young, Johan would perform magic tricks for his friends only to hear them say, “oh that’s just fake” or something along those lines so Johan decided he would begin doing something they could never say was fake, and that was to start juggling! With juggling, Johan says, “There’s no way they can say what I do is fake now”. The juggling act in tonight’s show is a very interesting one; all three have never before worked together. From three separate backgrounds, the performers were able to come together, providing something different in their routine, influencing one another and building a very strong team who seems effortless on stage.
Corteo is a love story in a sense. A journey through your past as you continue onward to the beyond. Seeing the moments of your life as if they were on a highlight reel, reliving each moment because it is your last.
A beautiful ambiance as the curtains draw aside. The clown lays on his deathbed as he sees visions of his past, three chandeliers shimmer from the stage, each one containing a former love of his as he watches them dance from above. This then transitions to a time of his youth where he and his friends were jumping on beds, performing flips and enjoying life as only children do. These are not just ordinary beds however; each one is a specially made trampoline, which also has a hard top cover to allow the hoop artist to perform on top. Each bed weighs approx. 600lbs and there are two of these on stage tonight.
The angels float back in and hover above the clowns’ bed preparing him for the next round of his journey; this is when the Cyr Wheels enter the scene. Performing amazing acrobatic maneuvers, the cyr wheel artists give a great fluidity to the movement on stage.
Corteo is about a celebration of life, someone’s journey into the next and of all their favorite moments. What brought them their happiness, whatever their heart so desired. Appreciating the beauty that is around you. “A festive parade that entertains; the perfect accolade for an artist whose life was dedicated to revelry and making merry”.
Corteo by Cirque du Soleil will be at the First Bank Center in Broomfield, Co until Sunday May 27, 2018. I highly suggest you make it out to see this one! If you still need a ticket, click here to get yours now. Corteo will also be in Loveland, Co at the Budweiser Events Center May 31-June 3. You can find tickets for that weekends show here.
Photos by Teddy G / Xposer Photography