Issue #165: OCT 2017

Welcome to the latest edition of Fascination, the Unofficial Cirque du Soleil Newsletter.

VEGAS STRONG

On the evening of October 1, 2017, a mass shooting occurred at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. During the closing performance by Jason Aldean, a gunman opened fire on the outdoor festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay resort and casino. The shooter, whose motive remains unknown, was 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada. He fired into the crowd for almost eleven minutes and was later found dead in his hotel room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. With 59 deaths (including the perpetrator) and 489 injuries, the massacre is the deadliest mass shooting by a lone gunman in U.S. history. Following the Sunday night shooting in the Las Vegas, performances of Cirque du Soleil and Blue Man Group in Las Vegas were canceled.

As the shooting unfolded on Sunday, all of Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas theatres, in cooperation with local authorities, were immediately placed on lock-down. “For the time being, none of our employees have been identified among the victims,” it said in a statement hours after the attack. “We are in the process of checking in with each of them and organizing on-the-ground support for all our teams.” But the hours following that statement, as the body count climbed and the process of checking into the well-being of the 1,500 persons employed by the Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas continued, had clearly taken their toll by the following Monday morning.

“It’s been a sleepless night,” Cirque spokesperson Marie-Hélène Lagacé told the Montreal Gazette. “So far so good, we’re touching wood that none of our employees or their loved ones have been affected. But we have yet to get full confirmation. Our priority is to make sure all of our employees are safe and then to provide them and the community with support,” Marie-Hélène Lagacé said. “Las Vegas is our second home after Montreal. We want to provide all the support we can to the community and that’s where our focus is.”

All of the Cirque’s eight productions in Las Vegas scheduled for Monday night (October 2nd) were cancelled and subsequent performances were then considered on a “one day at a time” basis. All other shows were back on Tuesday night, with the exception of Michael Jackson ONE, who had a normal dark period Wednesday and Thursday, so it’s first scheduled show will be Friday, October 6th.

Cirque du Soleil would later release the following statement: “We are devastated by the tragic events that occurred last night in Las Vegas. For this shining city, home to hundreds of our artists and employees, a tragety of this nature is exceptionally heartbreaking. We are sending love and light to all those affected. Our deepest thoughts and sympahties are with the victims, their loved ones and the Las Vegas Community. / Nous sommes terriblement attristés par les événements tragiques qui ont eu lieu la nuit dernière à Las Vegas. Une tragédie de cette ampleur est exceptionnellement douloureuse pour cette ville rayonnante où résident des centaines de nos artistes et employés. Nos pensées et sympathies sont avec les victimes, leurs proches et la communauté de Las Vegas.”

And MGM Resorts: “Our hearts are broken and the words are hard to find. We have always known the Las Vegas community had strength beyond measure, which has been proven once again. To the brave men and women of Metro, our community’s outstanding medical personnel and all of the first responders who ran into harm’s way to save countless lives. To the heroes at Mandalay Bay, and the employees throughout MGM Resorts who acted with courage and kindness. To the Las Vegas hospitality community who reacted immediately with an overwhelming outpouring of support and assistance. You have our deepest gratitude and love. While we are all grieving, and will continue to do so in the days, weeks, and years ahead, we know Las Vegas will move forward together as a strong and united community. Together, we are #VegasStrong.”

On October 6, 2017, Cirque du Soleil rallied to support victims and first responders of the Las Vegas Shooting. As announced: Today, Cirque du Soleil would like to show its support of the Las Vegas community by making a donation in aid of the victims of Sunday night’s mass shooting, as well as the heroic first responders. “We are heart broken by the senseless act of violence that has gravely impacted our community – our neighbors – and we mourn for the victims and everyone affected by this tragic event,” said Jerry Nadal, Senior Vice President of Cirque du Soleil’s Resident Show Division. “Las Vegas is our home and the people of this incredible city are our family. On behalf of Cirque du Soleil, we want the community to know that we stand as one. Entertainment is the foundation of this city and we will recover, and eventually heal, from this together.” Cirque du Soleil will make a total contribution of $1 million. The company will donate $500,000 to a Las Vegas shooting victims fund, as well as contribute 5,000 tickets to the eight Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, including Blue Man Group. Tickets will be available to first responders, including police officers, fire fighters and medical responders, and their families. Finally, Cirque du Soleil plans to join forces with the Las Vegas entertainment community to raise additional funds for the victims by participating in an upcoming benefit concert. Details for that event will be communicated at a later date.

Stay tuned and remain #VegasStrong!

VOLTA CD RELEASED!

Released September 19, 2016 in Toronto, and September 20th on your favorite digital platform (iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc…), VOLTA is propelled by a series of atmospheric, epic and poetic musical landscapes. The vast palette glides from synth-pop to more melodic lines, from ambient shoegazing to waves of symphonic and orchestral sounds to which stirring choirs, brass and string textures were added. Written by composer Anthony Gonzalez (M83), the highly cinematic music of VOLTA evokes a complex array of emotions and moods that ebb and flow majestically like the tide, always in sync with the acrobatic performances on stage. It is a narrative tool in its own right, echoing the different arcs in the storyline and expressing the distinct personalities of the worlds of VOLTA – the Greys, the Elites, and the Free Spirits.

01: “To the Stars”………… (7:17)
02: “Dancing Ants”………… (3:47)
03: “The Bee and the Wind”…. (5:43)
04: “Man Craft”…………… (2:25)
05: “Modern Jungle”……….. (3:56)
06: “Inside Me”…………… (4:28)
07: “The Change”………….. (6:53)
08: “Suspension”………….. (2:20)
09: “Elevation”…………… (5:27)
10: “Lone Soul”…………… (2:14)
11: “Battle of the Man”……. (5:55)
12: “Like Kids”…………… (7:54)

You’ll find that “To the Stars” is to the Acro Ladders act, “Dancing Ants” goes with Skates & Basketball, “The Bee and the Wind” with Flatland Ballet, “Man Craft” is Acro Lamp, “Modern Jungle” is Shape Diving, “Inside Me” is WAZ’s Breakthrough music, “The Change” swings along with Rings & Bungee, “Suspension” is a transition song between Skates and Acro Lamp, “Elevation” is aptly named as it goes with the Hair Suspension act, “Lone Soul” with WAZ’s Cube scene, “Battle of the Man” is the Duo Unicycle piece, and “Like Kids” is the explosive BMX ending.

Strangely absent is the music to the Rope Skipping number (“Quid Pro Quo”), Parkour, and Charivari (“Globetrotters”).

Run time checks in at 58 minutes, 19 seconds.

CIRQUE DEBUTS ITS FIRST SHOW ON ICE – CRYSTAL

On September 12th, Cirque unveiled a sneak peek of Crystal, its veryfirst show fusing circus arts and the world of ice. For the occasion, a preview of this 42nd production was presented with a group number mixing acrobatic disciplines and skating figures, a high-octane romp on ramps where extreme skaters perform crazy flips and jumps at breakneck speed as well as a poetic pas de deux on aerial straps that completely blurs the boundary between ice and sky. (Sneak peek videos here: https://goo.gl/RszizZ and here: https://goo.gl/mRxmje). Since then, however, the show has made its preview debut in Lafayette,LA!

ABOUT THE SHOW

Crystal is the first-ever experience on ice from Cirque du Soleil. World-class ice skaters and acrobats take their new frozen playground by storm with speed and fluidity as they challenge the laws of gravity with a flurry of unexpected acrobatics. A new kind of performance as Cirque du Soleil meets the ice.

Crystal, the show’s main character, sets out on an exhilarating quest to fulfill her destiny as she dives into a world of her own imagination. She soars through this surreal world at high speed to become what she was always destined to be: confident, freed, and empowered.

Crystal is about looking at things from fresh angles, peeking through the veneer of everyday life, reframing one’s daily reality to see what one might have missed. Sometimes the only way to appreciate things is to look at them sideways. Discovering one’s individuality and uniqueness requires venturing out on thin ice.

“Crystal breaks the codes of the traditional ice show by creating a unique form of entertainment. To reach this objective, we brought together the best experts in their respective worlds. With this new show, the audience will discover the infinite possibilities that ice adds to the prowess of circus arts,” says Daniel Fortin, Executive Director, Creation, Crystal.

THE CREATIVE TEAM

• Stefan Miljevic — Creative Director
• Shana Carroll — Show Director
• Sébastien Soldevila — Show Director
• Fred Gérard — Acrobatic Equipment
• Stéphane Roy — Set Designer
• Johnny Ranger — Video Content Designer
• Maxim Lepage — Music Composer
• Éric Champoux — Lighting Designer
• Anne-Séguin Poirier — Props Designer
• Marie Chantale Vaillancourt — Costume Designer
• Véronique St-Germain — Make-up Designer
• Geneviève Dorion-Coupal — Choreographer
• Kurt Browning — Skating Performances Senior Designer
• Benjamin Agosto — Skating Performances Designer
• Marilyn Langlois — Synchronized Skating Designer
• Raphael Cruz — Performance Designer
• Mark Vreeken — Sound Designer
• Eisa Davis — Dramaturg, Text

THE FINE PRINT

Tickets for performances of CRYSTAL are available online:
http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/crystal/

Follow Crystal on Social Media:

• Facebook: facebook.com/CrystalbyCirqueduSoleil
• Twitter: @Cirque #CRYSTAL
• Instagram: @cirquedusoleil #CRYSTAL

A New Webseries – “Carving Crystal”
• VIDEO /// https://goo.gl/EWKEbY

AND MUCH MORE

Did you hear that Cirque du Soleil and the corporation of trois-Rivières events have extended their agreement for 5 additional years? They did! It seems the Hommage Series will continue for a total of 10 years… through 2024! There’s plenty of news items, press interviews, and other insights this month to take a look at – especially all the new web-series episodes! In Features this month you’ll find a fantastic review of VOLTA in Toronto by Henry Peirson. We continue our look back at classic show critiques with 1992’s reviews of Saltimbanco. And there’s a new three-part series on JOYA, Cirque du Soleil’s jewel in the Riviera Maya, Mexico.

Okay, so let’s go!

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