Corteo, the latest and most enchanting Cirque du Soleil’s arena production will visit Sunrise at the BB&T Center Arena from July 24 to August 4, for a limited run of sixteen performances. This unique production, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, first premiered in Montreal under the Big Top in April 2005. Since then, the show has been a great success and has amazed 8 million people in 19 countries on four continents.
Corteo, which means cortege in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown. The show brings together the passion of the actor with the grace and power of the acrobat to plunge the audience into a theatrical world of fun, comedy and spontaneity situated in a mysterious space between heaven and earth.
The clown pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival atmosphere, watched over by quietly caring angels. Juxtaposing the large with the small, the ridiculous with the tragic and the magic of perfection with the charm of imperfection, the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music turns lyrical and playful carrying Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.
The concept and disposition of the stage bring the audience in a theatrical atmosphere like never seen before in Cirque du Soleil arena shows. The set curtains, inspired by the Eiffel Tower, and the central curtains, which were hand painted, give a grandiose feel to the stage. This sets the tone for the poetry of Corteo.
The cast of Corteo includes 52 acrobats, musicians, singers and actors from all around the world. It was a pleasure to sit down with Juggler Johan Juslin, for this exclusive Hotspots interview:
How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a performer?
I was 10 years old when I really decided this is what I really wanted to do for my career.
Was it always juggling, or how did that come about?
Yes, I saw Cirque on TV and there was something with the juggling that caught my attention, and when the show was done, I went to my backyard and I haven’t stopped juggling since.
Did you get professional training?
I went to Youth Circus in Finland, and I got some training there. Then from 2013 to 2016 I went to the National Circus School in Montreal, and I have a degree for circus performing.
Was the goal always to be a part of Cirque, and if so why?
For me yes, from the moment I saw it on TV. The stage, the costumes and the style of performing suites my profile pretty well.
How did you get cast in Cirque?
National Circus school is across the street from the headquarters of Cirque du Soleil. So when I graduated I got invited to audition. I passed and I got into their database. One year later I was called for Corteo, and I have been with them ever since.
What do you do for fun?
I tend to explore the different cities and bars, but we don’t have that much time off. I also play guitar.
What does the future hold for you?
I would like to stay with Cirque du Soleil as long as possible.
Why should our readers come see Corteo from Cirque du Soleil and what makes it different from other Cirque shows?
There is a high level of acrobatics, and performing of all circus disciplines. In this show we are all normal humans, not the big characters like in other Cirque shows. We talk to the audience, and our stage is in the middle of the arenas so we create more interesting sequences.
Corteo, comes to the BB&T Center Arena from July 24 to August 4. Tickets are available at cirquedusoleil.com/corteo. Cirque Club membership is free and benefits includes access to advance tickets, special offers and exclusive behind the scenes information. To join, go to cirqueclub.com.