Corteo is the latest in the Cirque du Soleil repertoire, and the show brings just as many aerial acrobatics, high-flying stunts, and superhuman acts as you’ve grown accustomed to seeing from your favorite circus troupe.
Begun in Quebec in the 1980s as a small group of street performers who wanted to “reinvent the circus,” Cirque du Soleil has since evolved into a troupe of over 1,300 highly athletic performers and talented musicians. These artists come from over 50 countries around the world, with backgrounds in everything from gymnastics, trampoline, and diving, to circus and street arts, to music and theater. When you see them perform, you can’t help but be impressed and even a little envious of their many feats of strength, endurance, balance, and agility.
Corteo, which ends its three-day run at the Smoothie King Center tomorrow, is the story of a deceased “Dreamer Clown” whose spirit is looking back on his life and its many adventures and romances. The vibe of the show is a little bit dreamscape, a little steam-punk, a bit Gypsy, and all circus. The set is like a harlequin castle in the sky in 19th-century Europe. Everything is colorful and lively, from the costumes to the amazing stunts.
People hang from chandeliers and balloons, from straps and strings and a suspended pole. They jump and somersault on 600-pound beds, flip off a seesaw contraption known as a teeterboard, and gracefully roll around the stage in giant rings. The artists catapult each other through the air and fling around (and catch) their fellow performers. They balance on a rather tall upright ladder, twirl six hula hoops at a time, and juggle. There is singing, speaking Italian, and rhythmic drumming. There’s even a human golf ball, a live marionette, and an expert whistler.
Corteo is a mystical and surreal performance that will entertain and astonish you to the very end when a group of eight artists whirl around the horizontal bars simultaneously and the Dreamer Clown rides his bicycle across the stage in mid-air.
It’s not too late to get tickets for tomorrow night’s show. See the circus like only Cirque du Soleil can offer it; experience another world full of clown spirits, acrobats, and magic.
As I was leaving the Smoothie King Center after the show last night, thinking back to how much I had enjoyed it, I overheard the girl walking out behind me describe it perfectly. She said, “Such an exuberant show. Such lovely energy. I loved it!” I completely agree.