Cirque du Soleil Swinging Back to the Royal Albert Hall in 2020

Fans of intrigue, wonder, excitement and acrobatics are in for a pleasant surprise as Cirque du Soleil is making its way back to the Royal Albert Hall. The show will form the European debut of the Luzia performance and be directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, taking inspiration from its Spanish namesake of light, spirit, and rain. The show will feature jugglers, contortionists and acrobatic freestylers, who will be flipping and aweing audiences as they evoke the Mexico in the middle of London. The event marks the thirtieth anniversary of the troupe’s first London performance – We Reinvent the Circus in 1990 at the South Bank. The return ushers in a new age of the majesty of the circus and performing arts in this digital age.

What Can Fans Expect from Cirque du Soleil in London?

Most people are aware of what to expect from Cirque du Soleil, so each time the production has to amp up the excitement and generate a new form of buzz to keep eager audiences entertained. The Luzia production was first performed in North America in 2016, so fans are able to see what’s in store based on the reviews and recordings of that performance. But the magic of the circus is to shock and awe. The appetite for such a production is definitely felt in London, having spent 2018 dominated by Michael Gracey’s 2017 blockbuster The Greatest Showman, which helped reinvigorate younger audiences with excitement for the circus. London fans can expect a five-week engagement with Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall from January 12 2020, which will carry on the tradition of hosting Cirque du Soleil engagements there, which started in 1996. Indeed, the latest production, Totem, was dubbed by London Theatre’s reviewer as a “parade of astounding feats and astonishing spectacle, spanning personal stories, continents and technologies.” The emphasis on technologies and continents is increasingly important for a medium such as live performance and interpretative dance and gymnastics.

The Luzia production was first performed in North America in 2016, so fans are able to see what’s in store based on the reviews and recordings of that performance. But the magic of the circus is to shock and awe. The appetite for such a production is definitely felt in London, having spent 2018 dominated by Michael Gracey’s 2017 blockbuster The Greatest Showman, which helped reinvigorate younger audiences with excitement for the circus. London fans can expect a five-week engagement with Cirque du Soleil’s Luzia at the Royal Albert Hall from January 12 2020, which will carry on the tradition of hosting Cirque du Soleil engagements there, which started in 1996. Indeed, the latest production, Totem, was dubbed by London Theatre’s reviewer as a “parade of astounding feats and astonishing spectacle, spanning personal stories, continents and technologies.” The emphasis on technologies and continents is increasingly important for a medium such as live performance and interpretative dance and gymnastics.

How Can I Get Involved with Cirque du Soleil?

If watching the performance gives you ideas, Cirque du Soleil is incredibly competitive to join, and the qualifications necessary to perform the stunts and acrobatics are based largely on talent. The company is based in Quebec, Canada but travels all over the world, as you’d expect with any theatrical production. Many performers are trained classical dancers while others are ex-pro gymnasts from around the world. The company has connections with top gymnastics bodies to recruit their members once they renege their professional careers while casting agents visit events such as the European Juggling Convention to scout for hidden talent. Current performers can even be given incentives to find people they might know who would be suitable as performers. Indeed, there is even a casting website that allows you to input information and be ready for live castings. While it’s incredibly difficult to join, if you possess the criteria and athleticism they are looking for, the barrier for entry to Cirque du Soleil is lower than many other of the performing arts.   

How Popular is Cirque du Soleil?

Cirque du Soleil exists in a very different sphere to when it first began – or even from the days of PT Barnum’s travelling circus. Digital technologies, social media, and the rise of super-realistic games have desensitised people to what they can expect to see before them. But rather than hide from technology, Cirque du Soleil have decided to embrace it and use it to create more excitement and buzz with audiences around the world. For instance, they purchased Works Entertainment, the company behind live magic show The Illusionists, for $40 million. This shows that Cirque du Soleil are looking to diversify their offering and to corner the market on live performances, having already purchased VStar Entertainment and Blue Man Group. The franchise is on the lookout to build its links into other modes. One example of this comes from developing the best slots to tie into the franchise, the Cirque du Soleil Kooza slot, which is an officially licensed online slot available on casinos including 888casino. This will take the excitement and bated breath of watching the performance and transfer it to a digital medium. The game helps up the company’s profile when it comes to the digital age. While an increase in presence on social media platforms has also helped keep Cirque du Soleil relevant with modern audiences. These diversifications aren’t to detract from the key offering, but to supplement it by showing that Cirque du Soleil is as much a way of life as it is a live acrobatic performance.

The Impact of Cirque du Soleil

PR launches and elaborate parties are often seen with people fire-eating, stilt walking or performing contortionist dance routines, all based on Cirque du Soleil. Using Cirque du Soleil as an event theme shows just how prevalent the phenomenon has become in society and the entire energy of an event can be powerful even with just a few words communicated. When anyone intonates that the theme is Cirque du Soleil, everyone automatically has the same thought on what it will be like. While not every party will make use of the trapeze of world-renowned jugglers, they will tell audiences and guests that there will be magic and excitement to capture the essence of the live Cirque du Soleil show. The impact of Cirque du Soleil comes more from its ability to capture interest and excitement with a very broad idea of what circus entertainment and live performance can be. Being performed at the Royal Albert Hall, which has showcased productions such as Explosions in the Sky, is testament to how influential Cirque du Soleil is.    

The age of social media has done nothing to quell the excitement that comes from live gymnastics and acrobatics performances. While there are many ways to engage with the performances outside of seeing them, there is no substitute for the real thing. What audiences can get from seeing a performance in front of their eyes is part of the reason why Cirque du Soleil has remained popular. Our tastes and interests may change, but there will always be a primal excitement of seeing death-defying stunts and glamorous and exciting set pieces up close. We stand rapt, partly in awe at the spectacle, amazed that a human body just like ours can perform such feats, but mostly leaving the venue unable to forget what we witnessed.  

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