CIRQUE DU SOLEIL Celebrates 30 Years In The UK
Cirque du Soleil marks its 30th anniversary in the UK with a celebratory exhibition from 19 September to 9 October with free entry at London's historical Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). Fans can immerse themselves in the story so far, understand the journey of Cirque du Soleil, from creation to the travelling circus today, hear the music, and take an up-close look at costumes, masks and more! A truly global company with shows that have visited more than sixty countries and using themes evoked from different cultures around the world, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) is the perfect venue for this exhibition celebrating 30 years in the UK alone.
From humble beginnings of street theatre, Cirque du Soleil has grown from a company of 73, to more than 4,000 people, featuring artists and employees from over 50 countries with more than 25 different languages spoken.
The arrival of LUZIA next year, the company's 38th original production themed around 'A Waking Dream of Mexico', will be the 14th production to debut in the UK and marks 30 years since Cirque du Soleil first brought its captivating magic and awe-inspiring acrobatics to the country. Since 1990, when the first Grand Chapiteau was raised in London to host Cirque Réinventé on the South Bank, just six years after the company's inception in the streets of Québec in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has astounded audiences of over five million in the United Kingdom alone.
Attention to detail runs throughout every aspect of a show. From the first stage design to intricate custom made costumes and precision make up, Cirque du Soleil's spectacular productions come together through a multitude of talented technicians, artistic directors, designers, engineers, carpenters, coaches and musicians, with world renowned artists remaining the beating heart of excellence in every show. From exquisite moments of beauty including OVO's Aerial Straps, Amaluna's Balance Goddess, Totem's Lovebirds Trapeze, Quidam's Aerial Hoops and Varekai's Flight of Icarus, to jaw dropping, heart stopping acts including OVO's Russian Cradle, Totem's Unicycle and Bowls, Varekai's Russian Swings, Dralion's Teeterboard, Kooza's Wheel of Death and Amaluna's Banquine, which wowed even Meryl Streep at the BAFTAs in 2017.
With arena tours and big tops alike, Cirque du Soleil's touring shows have travelled across the country. For residency shows, Cirque du Soleil found home at the Royal Albert Hall in 1996, when it returned to the UK with Saltimbanco. Transforming the show from a Big Top tent, to the iconic London venue has presented new challenges for every Cirque du Soleil production that has walked through its doors. The size, shape, unique space, entry points and heritage status of the Royal Albert Hall mean many productions have adapted their shows to work inside the hallowed hall. In 2008, Varekai was granted Westminster Council approval for a purpose-built rehearsal structure erected in the Hall's West Car Park, measuring three stories high to allow performers rehearsal time for the Russian Swings act and the Hall raised the acoustic sound diffusers to accommodate rigging for the OVO's Russian Cradle.
Making its European debut, Cirque du Soleil returns to the Royal Albert Hall from 12 January - 16 February with its production of LUZIA. With Cirque du Soleil's most technically challenging show to install at the Royal Albert Hall to date, LUZIA will see a 14 metre high water curtain rigged from the ceiling which can rotate 360 degrees and can create two dimensional images using water droplets and blank spaces produced from 174 electromagnetic nozzles. The water is treated, filtered and recycled for every performance and will become the first ever production to use water at the Royal Albert Hall in this way. As part of the exhibition, the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) have curated a special display relating to Mrs Patrick Ness who visited Mexico in 1920. Her photography provided the wider world at the time with a unique glimpse of this colourful and vibrant nation.
Cirque du Soleil strive for commitment beyond the stage, aiming to positively impact people and communities through creativity and art. 2019 saw a partnership blossom with The Duke of Sussex's charity Sentebale, which helps youth affected by HIV in southern Africa. Attended by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the premiere for TOTEM at the Royal Albert Hall saw all proceeds from the evening going to support Sentebale's work and raise vital awareness for the programme.
At the helm of Cirque du Soleil, CEO Daniel Lamarre on celebrating 30 years in the UK says: "We are genuinely happy to celebrate this great anniversary with the United Kingdom. Over the years, we have always been warmly welcomed in the UK, where we feel like home. We are grateful for the constant excitement shared by the fans and hope that this is just the beginning of many more shows and years to come!"
The celebratory exhibition marking 30 years of Cirque du Soleil in the UK takes place at The Royal Geographical (with IBG) Society from 19 September to 9 October and entry is free. Entry times Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm. For further information, visit www.rgs.org
Please note, the exhibition will be closed on September 26 between 10am and 12pm.
Tickets for LUZIA are available through the Cirque du Soleil website, www.royalalberthall.com or 020 7589 8212.