We’ve seen a number of Cirque du Soleil productions so we had high expectations when attending the world premiere of Alegria by Cirque du Soleil under the Big Top in Montreal. I’m drawn to words like magical, awe-inspiring, and breathtaking but I just can’t do it justice. It met all of my expectations of a Cirque du Soleil production – dazzling costumes, a grand stage, mouth-dropping acrobatics, and creative storytelling. But there is more to Alegria. It brought us into a mystical world where we felt like we were part of the adventure rather than spectators. Maybe it was our front row seats or maybe it was Athena’s love for the circus and our ability to experience the show with child-like wonder, but we became immersed in the environment, entangled in the story, and it felt like it was happening for us and to us.
Cirque du Soleil first presented Alegria in April 1994, a production destined to change the history of the company, an emblematic show that was to win over more than 14 million spectators. Under the traditional Big Top, Alegria visited 255 cities around the world in its 19 years of touring before finally bidding audiences farewell on December 29, 2013.
Beloved by fans around the world, iconic Alegria came back to share its timeless story once more. The classic power struggle of old meets new is reinterpreted for today. As a rallying anthem for change, hope, and optimistic renewal, Alegria energizes fans with a joyful spirit for a brighter and inspiring tomorrow.
Alegria is a blend of acrobatics, artistry, choreography, singing, and music, but it began for us before we even entered the Big Top. Performers met us at the entrance and opened the doors to another world of beauty and wonder. Greeted with origami, clown noses, pom poms, and delight, we went down the rabbit hole of Alegria.
When we reached our seats, we were followed by more whimsical characters who were all too happy to pose for photos and bring us into their world.
The stage performance consists of about 50 people from tumblers to singers, contortionists to clowns, trapeze artists to dancers. Each performer moves across the stage in dreamy artistry. The acrobats moved their bodies in ways that didn’t seem possible, the gymnasts were so perfectly choreographed that they made it look easy, the fire dancer left us with our mouths agape, and the clowns made us laugh and touched our hearts. They all did it with a smile on their faces and love for their performance and art.
We could see the expressions on their faces and watch as they performed with ease. It all unfolded before our eyes and all around us for a deeply immersive experience. We weren’t watching as things happened to the performers. We were part of the adventure. When “snow” fell on their heads, it fell on ours as well. When the fire dancers swung flames around, we could feel the heat of the fire, and when trapeze artists flipped and twirled above our heads, we could feel the breeze from the swing and their motion.
When the show ended and the performers took the stage for one last goodbye, they stepped down to hug us and take photos. We were part of something bigger. We were under the Big Top and part of the dream of Alegria.