I’ve always wanted to attend a Cirque du Soleil show, and last week I was able to attend both a performance of Corteo at The FedEx Forum and a BTS media preview of one of their practices!
Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo tells the story of the clown Mauro, who’s recently passed. Corteo, which means “cortege” in Italian, is a joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown, and the performance is a look back at the clown’s life (highs + lows included). It features over 16 acts (Corteo first premiered in Montreal in 2005 and has added acts to the original adaption over time), 80 different costumes for the performers and is filled with jaw-dropping acrobatic performances throughout the entire show.
My friend Michael came with me and got some amazing video footage during the practice. Check his Instagram to see!
During the media preview we were able to see the performers practice different scenes; they practice with mats but rely solely on a customized rig system and their acrobatic skills during the actual show. The sheer strength and coordination that goes into training for this is a sight to see.
We were also able to visit the wardrobe area where all of the costumes are kept and prepared. We chatted with their PR team and learned that each performer has a full-body scan done for measurements so that each costume will be tailor-made for them and designed to move fluidly with their bodies. They watch this closely, so should their costume shrink, rip, or have any damage it can be remade perfectly (and not affect their performance).
The show is mostly in French and English, but you’ll also hear them sing/speak in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and more. While I wasn’t able to understand everything that was said during the show, it was moving and towards the end I even found myself getting a little emotional because I understood it was time for Mauro to say goodbye.
Corteo is a beautiful show and perfect for all ages; to see tour dates and learn more about the show, click here. If you missed the Memphis showing this time around, no worries: it will be showing in St. Louis April 24th-28th. I also learned that this was Cirque’s 5th show in Memphis and they actually love coming here because of the city’s appreciation of the company so they will be back!