Cirque du Soleil Review: Alegria’s opening night marred by early halt in performance and missing finale

Runs until Sept. 1 beneath the large prime on the Zibi web site in Gatineau
Tickets beginning at $66.75 at
Reviewed Thursday night

A shaky begin and missing finale made for a worrying and in the end disappointing premiere performance of Alegria on Thursday night.

The Cirque du Soleil present, a brand new 25th-anniversary reboot of a long-running touring manufacturing, did have many issues going for it. Its costumes have been stunning. Its music was invigorating. The present had an ongoing sense of spectacle. Most importantly, its finest set items have been dazzling, that includes gravity-defying aerialists, gymnasts whose feats of tumbling or contortion made your eyes widen, and a performer who dealt with flaming batons with life-affirming glee.

But an early mishap in the big-top present on the Zibi web site left the viewers questioning for minutes how a lot one thing had gone flawed.


The present’s kickoff acrobatic function, in which a staff of performers labored with lengthy poles, ended badly. First, a feminine acrobat missed a excessive vault that was apparently meant to ship her onto the shoulders of 1 male acrobat, himself standing on a colleague’s shoulders. There was one other try, however it too failed and appeared to have gone worse than the primary strive, with poles and at the least one performer mendacity on the bottom after. The performers shortly left the stage and one wanted assist from one other.

The manufacturing, which debuted in Montreal in mid-April and ran till July 21, was stopped for nearly 10 minutes. Later, Cirque du Soleil spokesperson Francis Jalbert advised this newspaper that the entire performers have been secure and unhurt, and that the break in the performance was to “prevent injuries.”

Later, the mid-show intermission was longer than anticipated, and Alegria concluded with a solo gymnast’s succession of unbelievable one-arm handstands, however omitted a grand finale that may have featured a dozen aerialists on excessive bars.

After the present, an emailed assertion to this newspaper learn: “Strictly due to technical reasons, the finale high bars act of Alegría was not performed during the Gatineau premiere. This is completely unrelated to the previous show stop of the night.” The act will resume Friday after upkeep, the assertion mentioned.

It was heartening when the present did certainly go on after the pole act’s distressing end.

After, Alegria alternated top-tier bodily exploits with the levity of clowns in eye-catching baroque costumes. They, plus the darkly clad character Mr. Fleur, acted out the present’s ostensible narrative in a sequence of sight-gag-rich instalments, a play between darkish and gentle in which hope and pleasure (Alegria means pleasure in Spanish) triumph.

But that story appeared to matter much less instantly after the present’s early disturbance, and whereas the narrative gained in influence over time, the missing finale disadvantaged the viewers of that emotional conclusion.

It took crossed wheel artist Jonathan Morin’s dizzying spins, the clever, thrilling trapeze duo of Roxane Gilliand and Nicolai Kuntz and particularly Lisiate Tovo’s fearless work with flaming batons to revive a way of marvel. Hula hoop artist Elena Lev and later balancing artist Darina Mishina appeared to realize the not possible.

There have been additionally moments of viewers involvement that broke the fourth wall between the watchers and the watched, and musicians that all the time went for the gusto, whether or not they strolled on stage to offer accordion accompaniment or slammed the drums behind Tovo’s incendiary show. Alegria’s singers Irene Ruiz Martin and Virginia Alves Garcia uplifted no matter else was occurring with their spirited contributions.

But regardless of its spectacular parts, the primary night of Alegria fell wanting expectations, and one can solely hope for secure and snag-free exhibits throughout the remainder of its month-long run in Gatineau.

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