Cirque Du Soleil has always intrigued me. My love affair with this audacious troupe started back in the nineties when Saltimbanco came to my hometown…NYC. Needless to say I have seen many more productions since then, and of course you can catch a Cirque du Soleil Show coming to a city near you. So naturally, when I heard Corteo was coming to Los Angeles I knew I had to be there on opening night.

Past lovers of Mauro hang from the chandeliers; All photos by Maja Prgomet; courtesy of Cirque Du Soleil

Corteo originally debuted back in 2005 in Montreal and toured extensively across nineteen countries and sixty cities. This was my first time seeing the show, which has an unusual plot for Cirque du Soleil. Revolving around the life and death of one man – Mauro the Dreamer Clown – the story is beautifully recounted in a dreamlike fantasy world.

The title – Corteo means procession in Italian. The show kicks off with a funeral party and parade featuring all sorts of animated circus characters. Signature acrobatics soon begin, as the performers dangle off of chandeliers much to the delight of the audience. They represent the past lovers of Mauro, and thus begins the aerial ballet of the night.

Mauro meets the angels, who Teach him how to Fly

Angels appear from above bringing an ethereal atmosphere, as a bed rises up to the sky, while we watch Mauro earn his wings.

The show, although light hearted, points to more provocative questions we all may have when contemplating what it will be like to leave this earth? What moments in our lives matter the most? How have we affected others? After all we all have the same fate.

Poignant moments through Mauro’s life appear, bringing together friends that he has, while also conveying the pure joy he has felt and in turn given back to the people in his life.

Cirque du Soleil Highlights

My favorite highlights of the show were: The Clowness – the grand dame is attached to giant balloons *(see cover photo), as Marco propels her out over the audience. She floats above us, while squealing with glee. Members of the audience help pop her back up to the sky, as she giggles.

Cyr Wheel Performers Dazzle the Crowd

The Cyr wheel performers were magnificent. Each took their turn, then the act crescendoed with two, then three, then all of them spinning at once.

The interaction between the ladder specialist and the angel was a miraculous moment. Not only did the performer climb a free standing ladder, he balanced it perfectly while he walked and danced around the stage as he flirted with the angel.

The comedy throughout kept us laughing…specifically the “Teatro Intimo” – where way too many actors pile into an itsy-bitsy theatre for a comical rendition of Romeo and Juliet.

The aerial duo in the 2nd act was breathtaking. The music enchanted us, while the couple sensually danced suspended in the air, high above us.

The Aerial Duo Mesmerized the Crowd

The international cast was excellent, continuously electrifying the audience with their diverse array of acrobatic stunts and theatrics. As always the music was an essential part of the production. I especially liked that the musicians were onstage interspersed with the performers

Costume Designer Dominique Lemieux did a phenomenal job with the costumes. Set Designer Jean Rabasse’s rotating stage offered a behind the scenes glimpse, while brilliantly utilizing the air space above for images, projections and aerial vignettes.

If you are in Los Angeles, head to the Microsoft Theater in DTLA. Corteo is delightfully whimsical yet deep and thought-provoking. Visit the website to find out when Corteo is coming to a city near you. https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/  https://www.microsofttheater.com

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