An Overview of SCALADA’s Final Chapter

What is STELAR? What is SCALADA? And where are these shows performed?

These are all good questions. And over the last few years we here at Fascination have pointed out these special endeavors by Cirque du Soleil’s Special Events Team – 45 DEGREES – even though we’ve never had an opportunity to see most of them. Why? For the most part they’re half a world away from where we’re based. And these unique shows, produced specifically for the host country and/or event, run for a limited time. SCALADA is a unique and free outdoor event, developed by Cirque du Soleil’s Special Events Team (45 DEGREES) for the Principality of Andorra.

And where’s that you might ask?

According to Wikipiedia… Andorra, officially the Principality of Andorra, is a sovereign landlocked microstate in Southwestern Europe, located in the eastern Pyrenees mountains and bordered by Spain and France. Created under a charter in 988, the present principality was formed in 1278. It is known as a principality as it is a diarchy headed by two Co-Princes – the Roman Catholic Bishop of Urgell in Spain, and the President of France. Andorra is the sixth-smallest nation in Europe, having an area of 468 km2 (181 sq mi) and a population of approximately 85,000. Its capital Andorra la Vella is the highest capital city in Europe, at an elevation of 1,023 metres (3,356 feet) above sea level. The official language is Catalan, although Spanish, Portuguese, and French are also commonly spoken.

Over the last five years Cirque du Soleil and 45 DEGREES have produced SCALADA for Andorra, which will end with this year’s performance.

But before we talk a bit about what we’ve discovered about STELAR, let’s review…

2013 — SCALADA

In 2013, the first year, the show was simply titled SCALADA, and featured the following concept as its storyline: “To capture people’s attention and charm a group of boaters, the four Seasons enter into a bit of harmless competition. In turn, but keeping to the natural order — Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn — the Seasons reveal their charms and use their most beautiful traits to impress. The competition suddenly becomes more serious, and the Seasons forget the audience that they are trying so hard to win over. It then falls to the group of boaters to show the Seasons that they are already involved in a love affair with Andorra, no matter what the season.”

The show was brought to life by Bastien Alexandre (Creator and Director), Jean Laurin (Lighting Designer), Stéphane Boko (Chroeographer), Eric Noguès (Set Designer and Props), and Johnny Ranger (Video Desinger), using songs from across the Cirque du Soleil musical catalog to highlight the acrobatic performances…

• Opening — Volo Volando from Corteo
• Aerial Straps — Svecounia from O
• Skipping Ropes/ Bikes — Alambre Alto from Kooza
• Flying Woman — Patzivota from Varekai
• Clowns — Patzivota from Varekai
• Cube/Korean Plank — Battlefield from KA
• Chinese Poles — Qué Viyera from Totem
• Acrosport — Toreador from Totem
• Trampo-wall — Simcha from O
• Finale — Hymn of the Worlds from ZED


In 2014, between July 5th and August 2nd, Cirque du Soleil presented SCALADA: MATER NATURA, a show with a similar concept and creation team from the first years’, with some changes to the acrobatic performances in the show…

• Opening — Jeux d’enfants from Alegria
• Overture — First Incantation from ZED
• Spanish Web — Diables from Kooza
• Water Bowl — Don’t Be Afraid from Kooza
• Hoop Diving — Oscillium from Varekai
• Aerial Pole — El Péndulo from Varekai
• Russian Bars — Fiesta from ZED
• Hand to Hand — Kèro Hiréyo from Varekai
• Flying Duo Trapeze — “Duo Trapeze Song” from Les Chemins 4
• Acrosport — Unknown song
• Cyr Wheel — Distorted from La Nouba
• Death Wheel — Ninkou Latora from Dralion
• Duo Strap — The Worlds Meet from ZED
• Finale — Kamandé from Dralion


In 2015, between July 4th through August 1st, SCALADA: STORIA was performed. STORIA took patrons on an acrobatic and metaphorical journey through Andorra’s more mystic side to trace the country’s origins and learn its legends: “In a minimalist décor evoking the vaulted roof of a contemporary cathedral, somewhere between tradition and modernity, STORIA takes root in the founding legends of Andorra. The White Lady – the patron goddess and divine protectress of this luminous land – will open one-by-one the boxes containing the legends of this magical STORIA. The boxes will in turn reveal their acrobatic, aerial and choreographic performances – living symbols of the fabulous secrets of Andorra’s past.”

The show was brought to life in the following ways…

SCENEOGRAPHY — As a counterpoint, at the show they wanted to recreate a more modern setting. The basis of this scenography are basic geometric forms (triangles, squares and circles), used to build a contemporary cathedral where legends come to life. This cathedral may remind the audience of the well-known architecture of the thermal centre Caldea, one of Andorra’s trademarks. This structure is erected to be home to a giant modern-looking semicircle stage which will have a more spiritual aspect. This will represent both the cathedral and the Pyrenean mountains. This combination of modern and fantasy elements is the main scenographic challenge of this new show.

MAKE UP — The luminous makeup designs created for the mythical characters of STORIA will have a supernatural look and feel, echoing the spiritual and sacred context in which the characters evolve. Contemporary, graphical and minimalistic makeup designs will be created to convey the emotions of the cast.

SOUNDTRACK — Music will also be one of the fortes of the show, which will include melodies specially created for this occasion. SCALADA: STORIA will be impregnated with the characteristic range of colours of this Canadian company’s musical work. Without sticking to a particular style, it will be composed of a range of fusions perfectly combining various musical categories.

LIGHTING — Lighting design stands out for its well-chosen angles, intensity and colours. These are also aligned with costumes and make-up. Lighting will enjoy a modern approach, combining the strength and dynamism of rock shows with the delicacy of theatre plays. Also, lights will play a key role within the show, since they will mark the transition among the various tales and the emotions they spark. So, the transition from one tale to another will go in hand with a change of colours integrated with accessories directly controlled by artists. These will also have an effect on ornamental elements, which in turn will also have integrated lighting.


• Pre-Show — Flea Girls from OVO
• Opening — Toreador from Totem
• Flying Sphere — “Duo Trapeze” from Les Chemins 5 / Undae from ZAIA
• Icarian Games — Aequor Oris from ZAIA
• Aerial Cross Wheel — Caelestis from ZAIA
• Slackwire — Super Hero from OVO
• Trampo-wall — Birth of the Sky from ZED / Temperatio from ZAIA
• Interlude — Running on the Edge from Amaluna / Comissatio from ZAIA
• Rola Bola — Aquilex from ZAIA
• Pas de Deux — Ballare from Dralion
• Fire — High Temptation from ZED
• Russian Swings — Fly Around from Amaluna
• Finale — “Banquine Song” from Les Chemins 5


In 2016, from July 2nd through July 30th, 45 Degrees asked us if we were ready to experience sensations that we’d never felt before. “Be captivated by a magical stage design that will take you to a new dimension. Be swept away by the excitement as the finest acrobatics of the Cirque du Soleil. Enter a world where the lines between reality and fiction are blurred through a moving story. In this year’s edition, you will follow the adventures of a brother and sister who have an indestructible bond between them: a closeness that reflects the family values of the Andorran culture.”

This year’s story, brought to us by Mukhtar O. S. Mukhtar (Director), Alexis Laurence (Scenographer and AudioVisual Designer), Tony Adigun (Choreographer), Bruno Rafie (Lighting Design), and Jean-Michel Caron (Sound Design), was unique in a number of ways. It told the story of “a brother and sister faced with finding themselves separated in a totally unknown universe. They will arrive in an imaginary, surreal and futuristic world, where they will travel between reality and fiction. Throughout their adventure they will come across many elements of their home town, but in a futuristic form. The little sister will let herself be ruled by her instincts until she becomes completely lost in this futuristic dimension. Her brother, meanwhile, will follow her footsteps in the hope of finding her, while immersed in a totally different experience. Separately, each of them must make this journey on their own, overcoming the challenges of their own reality. Their instincts and the strong bond of brother and sister will be the key to their meeting again.”

Each scene was carried along by the acrobatic, aerial and choreographic performances, evoked unmistakable aspects of Andorra in the following ways…

SCENEOGRAPHY — This year, the stage makes way for video content to create a truly immersive atmosphere. The stage is built around the concept of a modular box that will whirl spectators between the disparate worlds of a brother and his sister. A series of movable, deconstructed façades provide a unique and mesmerising medium for the event’s storyline to unfold.

MUSIC — The musical arrangements have been crafted to conjure up two very distinct worlds: that of the brother and that of the sister. Not only are these distinctions the backbone of the story, but they will immerse spectators amidst a sensory experience, rousing a wide range of emotions. The sounds of a beat-boxer intermingle with the melodies of a live singer to deliver the event’s musical essence, which evinces the Cirque du Soleil’s musical expertise.

COSTUME DESIGN — The two distinctive worlds the event revolves around are further emphasised through the performer’s costumes: futuristic and linear designs mark the brother’s world, while colourful, imaginative and surreal ensembles represent the sister’s universe. All costumes draw from the reality of the brother and the sister, respectively.

LIGHTING AND VIDEO — Lighting is used to further the event’s narrative, while enhancing its acrobatic performances. Video projections envelop the brother and the sister in their respective worlds. The brother’s universe is evoked using straight lines, a modern atmosphere, bright lights and a clearly defined tech appearance. The young sister’s world, on the other hand, is more surreal, organic, colourful and innocent. The video takes on a second layer of meaning by interacting with the performers. At certain moments the video content is influenced by the action taking place on-stage.

ACROBATICS — The aerial acrobatics and choreographies were specially created with video projections in mind. The staging is inspired by a modular box allowing the main characters to travel between the two parallel worlds the story unfolds in. A brand new set of magical acrobatics will take the audience on a journey among these two dimensions, evoking the same emotions experienced by the event’s protagonists. This year’s event boasts more group performances than in previous years, making it all the more difficult and spectacular!

THREE UNIQUE MOMENTS — The City of Lights – The brother experiences, for the very first time, a futuristic world, made of lights and videos, where he meets beings from another time who change. These characters creates a fascinating world of movement. Lost amidst the chaos of that world, where dancers and acrobats perform in unison, he becomes fearful of it, yet unable to resist its pull. He will have to find his way through it to complete his quest: finding his sister. Craving Love – While seeking his younger sister, the brother finds himself in front of a fallen bridge. On the one side there stands a magnificent woman. The only thing connecting them will be the long rope – his only way across the bridge-, upon which they perform a poetic duo. In a tangible display of sensitivity, the duo bear each other’s weight so they can take flight. It’s an intimate moment where audiences will hold their breath, enveloped by the event’s visual poetry. (Duo Relation Act, created by Rigolo). And The Giant Door Finale – In the last act, the sister reaches a giant door, which stands between her and her brother, who is on the other side. She must find a way to get to him. Using her imagination, which will have helped her throughout her journey, she conjures up a series of characters who perform incredible acrobatic feats on a power track. The more impressive the acrobatics, the wider the door opens.

And, finally, this year…


From July 1 through 31st, Cirque du Soleil & 45 DEGREES presents STELAR, the last chapter of their SCALADA event series. Dare to fly up into the sky and discover the sensation of being in the clouds! In the world of STELAR, altitude rhymes with attitude, as the heights raise spirits. It is therefore on the highest peaks of Andorra, where the mountains meet the clouds, causing an exquisite feeling of reverse vertigo, that STELAR takes off. The show features a gallery of unique characters including the Dreamer, attracted to the life beyond the clouds, the very dogmatic Townspeople, the benevolent Giant, who has feet anchored to the ground but a head in the clouds, and the very aerial People of the Sky.

Are you ready to unravel the mystery? Are you ready to see the world from another perspective?

Then let’s delve into the world of STELAR…

THE STORY —Peacefully sleeping, a Dreamer is dreaming. She’s dreaming of levitating above her bed and, as if by magic, she starts flying. But when she opens her eyes, she’s immediately plunged into a nightmare, surrounded on all sides by a horde of invaders – the Townspeople. She is freed by an unexpected saviour, the Rebel, who manages to fight and repel the Townspeople. That’s when she sees a figure walking on a wire hooked to the clouds. Slowly after beginning her slow ascent towards the sky, the Dreamer meets a mountain tribe at the summit of the mountains, who tried, by dint of fabulous incantations, to allow the Dreamer to tear herself away from the Earth’s gravity. But when all her efforts have failed, a Giant suddenly emerges and, with the help of a Sherpa, helps her to cross the layer of cloud. In contact with the inhabitants of the clouds, the Dreamer finds herself endowed with strange powers. The laws of physics no longer exist; she flirts majestically with weightlessness and can finally reach her full potential. Faced with the dilemma of choosing between life in the mountains and life in the sky, at the very moment when the clouds are dissipating and the vault of heaven is finally within her reach, the Dreamer hesitates. But she realizes that even with both feet anchored to the ground, we are all connected to the infinite – to be considered, in turn and to dream, together, of greater than ourselves.

SCENEOGRAPHY — For this 5th and final edition of the SCALADA series, Cirque wished to bring the action closer to the people, making them part of the action even more. With a new stage concept – presented on a 2-faced stage (similar to the original Delirium and CORTEO presentations) – STELAR can be watched from both sides, offering a new perspective, bringing everyone closer to the action, and delivering a more intimate big-top like experience. Danielle Labrie’s environments for STELAR are both pure and bold. Through clever designs and modular elements, simple stenographic statements create a powerful effect and transport the audience across surreal worlds.

MUSIC — The soundtrack created by Felix-Antoine Couturier feels very cinematographic while tapping in both classical, pop, and folk roots. Music has always been a great tool for Cirque du Soleil to help convey the narrative, and this show is no exception. It was important for us to create original songs that would deliver the fantastic and energy in each scene.

COSTUME DESIGN — Feathers, crystals or sequins. Color combinations. Contrasts and brightness. The costumes of this edition, signed by Yso Siphay Southidara, are inspired by creators as disparate as Louis Vuitton or Nick Cave. Costumes strengthen each one of the characters that appear at the event. The costumes this year form a clever bridge between the classic legacy of Cirque du Soleil costumes and modern avant-garde fashion. Yso Siphay Southidara’s, specially made designs, bring STELAR’s characters to life in an impressive way.

LIGHTING — This year, Finnish designer Mikki Kunttu is designing the lights for STELAR. His voluptuous style and innovative vision pair beautifully with our two-way central stage. And this year’s concept -with no projection content- is ideal to let the lighting design shine (pun intended) and almost become a character in itself.

ACROBATICS & ARTISTS — Under Edesia Moreno Barata’s trained eye, all our high-level acrobatic acts are reworked and choreographed so our artist’s prowess’s can really translate the epic story of STELAR. She uses her deep knowledge of Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatics to bring the extraordinary of human performance to a higher level.

• Hand to Hand — Mason Bryce Ames & Valérie Benoit Charbonneau
• Dancer/Back-up Act — Cinthia Pedroso Beranek
• High Wire — Christopher Dafydd Keith Bullzini
• Russian Bar — Carole Demers, Andrei Saladonau, & Anatolie Sandou
• Swing to Swing — Evgeniia Goriacheva, Ekaterina Koroleva, Dina Krasko, Anastasiia Melikhova, Anastasia Nagibina, Olga Nikulshina & Anastasiia Sokolenko
• Trapeze — Uuve Hanna Jansson
• Wheel of Death — Rony Sascha Navas Velez & Ray Guthy Navas Velez
• Dancers — Guillaume Quéau, Daniele Sibilli & Thierno Thioune
• Bungee Loops — Laurence Racine Choinière
• High Stilts — Adam John Read
• Balancing on Chairs — Rokardy Rodriguez
• German Wheel — Olivier Sylvestre
• Acro Lamp — Alexis Vigneault


    Benjamin Dupont            Director
    Carine Charaire            Co-Director & Choreographer
    Olivier Casamayou          Co-Director & Choreographer
    Edesia Moreno Barata       Assistant Director & Acrobatic Performance
    Danielle Labrie            Stage Designer
    Alexis Laurence            Scenographer
    Félix-Antoine Couturier    Composer
    Yso Siphay Southidara      Costume Design
    Edesia Moreno Barata       Choreographer
    Mikki Kunttu               Lighting Design
    Eleni Uranis               Makeup Designer


It’s with a degree in Industrial Design that Benjamin joined Cirque du Soleil in 2008, working in the R&D and Creative Content teams, developing and staging new equipment to enhance the company’s show performances, like in the award-winning short film “Sparked. A live interaction with drones”, as well as a designer, working with, for example, Walt Disney Imagineering. Recently, Benjamin has been working with 45 DEGREES, a division of Cirque du Soleil, applying his unique conceptual approach to both shows and immersive experiences.


I could never be a dancer is an international duo that applies their pop, conceptual and modern vision into multiple projects. Taking turns, they’ve been choreographers, producers, and artistic directors. Carine Charaire and Olivier Casamayou break the boundaries of dance to bring it into the fashion, contemporary art and publicity world. From Centre Pompidou’s Comédie Française to great French luxury brand names like Chanel, Cartier, Hermès, Vuitton, Lacoste or Chloé, and international pop artists like Kylie Minogue, Willy Moon, Mika, MGMT, Pet Shop Boys, they love participating in the creation of pop culture as well as question the codes of conduct to say something about our time.


Edesia Moreno Barata started her performance career as an elite athlete with the Rhythmic Gymnastics Spanish National Team. She is now a leading Acrobatic performance designer and an Assistant Director at 45 DEGREES, a division of Cirque du Soleil. Edesia first started at Cirque du Soleil as an artist, touring for 10 years as part of the Saltimbanco and Corteo productions. Her contagious passion and flair for movement quickly gave her a career as an Artistic and Acrobatic coach at the International Head Quarters of Cirque du Soleil in Montreal. She’s since then evolved into an Acrobatic performance designer and Assistant stage director, her expertise having been sought after for the past 19 years, for 32 different creations to this day. Edesia would say: “To be creative is freedom of expression beyond imagination and a creative adult is a child that has awakened”.


Danielle graduated with a degree in Visual Arts and Fashion Design. Enthused by image, she begins her career as a costume designer and stylist, collaborating with numerous fashion magazines as well as a personal fashion advisor to Celine for a few years. Following her passion, Danielle integrates the motion picture industry as an Artistic designer and director on various productions. A career which has brought her numerous nominations and awards throughout North America (GÉNIE, JUTRA, CRÉA and BESSIE AWARDS). Now specialized in international event design, launching events and large scale shows, Danielle has now joined the 45 DEGREES events’ team, with whom she’s signed the scenography of the launch of the Fiat Bravo and the Notta Biance show (Italy), the immersive show Lounge at the National Hotel in Russia, and the Bal du MAC in Montreal. Danielle now shares her time between scenography projects with Cirque du Soleil and 45 DEGREES, and cinematography projects, which keep her imagination running.


After completing studies in classical guitar, Félix-Antoine toured around Quebec with the bands Kodiak and O Linea. His passion for songwriting, composing and musical direction brings him rapidly to start studio work. In 2014, his first album, Comme un seul homme, which he recorded and performed entirely by himself, was unanimously positively received by the critic. He’s, since then, committed to various projects and collaborations, exploring many genres, from Indie-Rock, pop music, Hip-Hop to Musical Comedy.


Mikki is a much sought-after lighting, screen content and set designer in Europe. His work has a lighting, screen, and set designer have been seen in the fields of dance, music, opera, television, and design. Including: Eurovision Song Contest (2007, 2013, 2016), collaborations with choreographers Akram Khan, Tero Saarinen, Jiri Kylian, The Nutcracker (Boston Ballet, 2005), Swan Lake (Royal Danish Ballet, 2015), and Figaro’s Wedding (Finnish National Opera, 2014). Through the years, Mikki has designed visuals for over 100 dance productions and has designed visual content for bands such as: Chisu, Apocalyptica and Nightwish. His work has been recognized multiple times, receiving awards at the Bessie Awards in New York (2005), Säde and Koura Awards (Finland, 2007), the Venla Diploma of Merit (2010) and an Engel Award (2014).


Born in Vientiane, in Laos, Yso has been a Montrealer-by-adoption for a while now, this is where he graduated in fashion design from Collège Marie-Victorin in 1994. A passionate enthusiast for fashion design, artistic direction and all forms of contemporary creation, he readily contributes his talents to each of these domains. After beginning with Marie Saint Pierre and Todd Lynn, he went on to direct his own ready-to-wear line for women “Yso” in 1999. His experience also extended to the fashion industry as a freelancer for Parasuco, Samuel Dong and Harricana. A longtime partner of the fashion designer Denis Gagnon, he has accompanied him as the artistic director of several fashion shows. Yso also works as a stylist for Folio Montreal. The artistic contemporary dance, theater, music, film and visual arts communities have made use of his talents (Brigitte Haentjens (Sibyllines), Guy Maddin, Lhasa, Patrick Watson, 45 DEGREES, Cirque du Soleil, Louise Lecavalier, etc.)


Eleni Uranis’ reputation at Cirque du Soleil speaks for itself. Her creations for STELAR follow the minimalist and pure essence of the show, and the new proximity to the stage allows us to take advantage of her attention to details.

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So, how do I see STELAR?

WHERE: The event will be located in the public car park of Parc Central, in the centre of Andorra la Vella, and will have a capacity of 5,000 people per performance. As with the previous editions, THE SPACE WILL BE ENTIRELY UNDER COVER. There will be a catering area on-site where food and drinks can be bought.

WHEN: STELAR will be performed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1st to 30th of July, 2017, with a final performance on Sunday 30th. Performances will be 60 minutes long, starting at 22:00 hours. There will also be a 30-minute animation presented before each show with the characters of Scalada: STELAR by Cirque du Soleil.

HOW: There are three kinds of tickets to Cirque du Soleil in Andorra: 1) Free tickets will provide access to the area in front of the stage, where there is standing room only. 2) Paid tickets include a numbered seat in the stands. 3) If you prefer, you can choose a hotel pack that includes a one-night stay at the chosen hotel plus a seated ticket in the stands. We will soon be providing information about how you can book your tickets to Scalada: STELAR 2017.

Purchase tickets here: