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Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ comes to Columbia

In Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo,” a clown imagines his own funeral as a carnival of sorts, blending the ridiculous with the tragic. The show will be performed seven times through July 14 at Colonial Life Arena.
In Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo,” a clown imagines his own funeral as a carnival of sorts, blending the ridiculous with the tragic. The show will be performed seven times through July 14 at Colonial Life Arena. Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is bringing the magic it has cast on stages all over the world for more than three decades back to Columbia.

Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo” is described as “a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown” and will be performed seven times through July 14 at Colonial Life Arena. The production opened July 10.

The clown imagines his own funeral as a carnival of sorts, blending the ridiculous with the tragic. The clown’s strength, fragility, wisdom and kindness is portrayed as lyrical and playful music carries “Corteo” through “a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.”

The show uses dazzling acrobatic feats, marionette, dance, juggling and more to spin its magic for audiences. There’s a bouncy bed, dancing on a chandelier, a flying clown and other “Baroque circus acts” to enchant and charm audiences.

Freddric Umali, an acrobat in Cirque du Soleil “Corteo,” gives us a peek inside the show.

Q. What makes the ‘Cirque’ shows different from other entertainment?

A. Cirque du Soleil is a French-Canadian (show) created over 30 years ago, redefining live entertainment by creating a new art form combining live music, acrobatics, circus arts, dance, street performance and beautiful set designs and costumes in a unique theatrical way. Since its creation in 1984, the company has created over 40 different productions and has visited more than 450 cities over the world. Our productions not only entertainment our guests, but bring them to an experience where we invoke the imagination, provoke the senses, and evoke the emotions through our shows.

Q. What makes ‘Corteo’ different from the other productions?

A. Corteo is a very unique touring production. Created in 2005, under the Big Top, the show has visited over 60 cities and 19 countries. In 2018, we started the arena format of Corteo and we have visited more than 50 cities. The show brings the audience to experience a different type of live entertainment. Our set was designed to give to the public the perspective of the actor, this way, when they see something amazing happening on stage, they can also see the reaction of people on the other side. With that said, they will know what we see and feel while performer and watching the reaction of people. It also a beautiful story, told by a clown, dreaming about his own funeral, but in a carnival atmosphere. He will picture all the greatest moments of his life while his friend will come to visit him. I work with another 51 artists on stage from 17 different countries. It is an amazing experience to be able to be part of such talented team.

Q. What are the challenges of putting on this show, especially as often as you do?

A. For myself the main challenges of putting on the show and performing consistently are one. Staying healthy over all. Eating well to have enough energy for the shows. Constantly trying to remain positive when I'm tired or not feeling well. Maintaining my physical well-being is also very important.

Q. Can you share three reasons folks should definitely not miss this show?

A. The entire family will be entertained during the entire show.

1. It is one of the most loved Cirque du Soleil productions.

2. You will meet a talented group from 18 different countries, showing love they have for what they do.

3. “Corteo” has a unique set that will give to the audience a completely different experience from any other live show.

Q. Is there anything else you’d like to add?

A. Last time Cirque du Soleil was in Columbia was in 2014 with Varekai. We are excited to bring another new production to town. We look forward seeing everyone there.

If you go

Cirque Du Soleil: “Corteo”

When: 7:30 p.m. July 11-13; 3:30 p.m. July 13; 1 p.m., 5 p.m. July 14

Where: Colonial Life Arena, 801 Lincoln St.

Tickets: www.ticketmaster.com or at the Lexington Medical Center Box Office inside Colonial Life Arena

Details: www.cirquedusoleil.com

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