By Matthew Terrell

“Corteo,’ the latest Cirque du Soleil arena production, will be at Duluth’s Infinite Energy Arena through Sept. 2. While the show is new to Cirque’s arena format, “Corteo’ actually premiered in 2005 as one of their signature “Grand Chapiteau” (Big Top) touring shows, which traveled to 64 cities and 19 countries in its original run. Just like every Cirque show, “Corteo” will make you believe in magic. The artistry of the performers, combined with Cirque’s stage trickery creates numbers that seem so impossibly beautiful that it feels like you are living in a dream. There are a few missteps in this tour that may turn off seasoned Cirque fans; however, if this is your first Cirque show or if you are going as a family, “Corteo” is a great show.

If you’re thinking of taking the kids, “Corteo” is a very family-friendly show. Many of the scenes appeal directly to children, such as the one with pajama-clad gymnasts jumping on gigantic beds. Slapstick comedy runs throughout the show, and a “Romeo and Juliet” scene had entire families in the audience laughing hysterically. Be aware that the music can be very loud, so if you or your kids are sensitive to loud sounds, then bring earplugs.

By far the most magical performance was the “Helium Dance” where a performer (Valentina Paylevanyan) was strapped to four giant balloons and then went sailing over the audience. There was no net or harness, simply a person flying by the power of helium. As she went sailing out over the audience, she would drop down and audience members gently pressed her up by the feet to keep her flying. The “Helium Dance” didn’t involve crazy death-defying flips or spins. It was simply beautiful and magical, which is something that “Corteo” does very well.

While all of the performances were awe-inspiring, it did seem like some of the performers were still working on their craft. The teeterboard number, where men launch each other into the air on a see-saw, seemed a bit perilous. There were noticeable moments of apprehension and missteps from the performers. Similarly, a juggling number had quite a few dropped clubs. This might be something unique to the arena performances—some of the performers may be a bit green and still gaining their circus wings.

Overall, “Corteo” is a magical experience, and one that would be great for the entire family. If you are new to Cirque du Soleil, this is a great introduction to their work. If you have a minivan full of children you want to take to see Cirque, this arena production is perfect for you.

For tickets and information, visit this link.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

2 replies on “Theatre Review: Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Corteo’ at Infinite Energy Arena”

  1. Your review was right on. It was very entertaining and exciting is some parts, especially the gymnastics on the high bar. They still need to work on the see-saw missteps and there were too many dropped clubs during the juggler routine.

  2. Your review was right on. It was very entertaining and exciting is some parts, especially the gymnastics on the high bar. They still need to work on the see-saw missteps and there were too many dropped clubs during the juggler routine.

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