Issue #167: DEC 2017

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

As always, there’s a lot to discuss… but before we get started, congratulations are in order for the cast and crew of JOYA, who celebrated reaching their 1,000th performance on November 30th! A special 9:15pm dinner and 10:15pm show marked the occasion. Earlier in the month, on November 9th, LUZIA also had reason to celebrate: the Waking Dream of Mexico celebrated its 600th performance – right here in Atlanta! (Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t attend.) In any case, congrats! Unfortunately, though, we do have to say goodbye to two fan favorites: Varekai (on December 23rd) and La Nouba (on December 31st). Thanks to everyone – cast and crew alike – who have labored (with love) to produce these shows for us. You, like the shows themselves, will be missed.

CIRQUE DU SOLEIL REBRANDS – NEW LOGOS!

Perhaps one of the biggest bombshells to hit the fan community this month was the update Cirque du Soleil gave its logo. In a video posted across its social media footprint, Cirque du Soleil shocked the fan community with a re-branding effort that would, in their words, “take the company into the future of entertainment.”

The sun is shining even brighter for Cirque du Soleil as we introduce two new logos that embrace and respect our heritage at the same time as evolving with us: a logo for the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group and one for our circus arts brand. Follow the inspiration and evolution of these distinct visions of our iconic #CirqueduSoleil sun.

VIDEO /// https://youtu.be/CO-N7j7zfU4

Our world is evolving… ever expanding / Times change and we reinvent ourselves everyday / Staying true to our core, our essence / Building on our heritage / But now simplifying, refining, and improving / To move forward / This is our core / A new interpretation of the sun / A symbol of life, energy, fun, and folly / One that defies conformity / And shines a light on worlds of / infinite possibilities / A new icon / One that travels much further / Crossing all barriers / This is the heart of Cirque du Soleil.

See the new logs here and and read more about this re-branding within. Meanwhile…

BIG TOP 2018?!

Here’s a bit of something else that caught us all by surprise – it appears Cirque is prepping a new big top show for 2018! The news is surprising because, to be honest, the last we’d heard, the Cirque was taking a year off and would produce their next big top touring show in 2019… why there’s been a change of heart we’re not at liberty to say, however, the recent job postings have some insights into what Cirque expects from this tour: “Touring in unexplored markets: be the first Production Manager to set up the Big Top in countries and towns where no other Cirque show has gone before; Be the first Company Manager to lead a team eager to put on shows in markets Cirque has yet to explore!” Past rumors suggested that Cirque du Soleil wanted to break into the Chinese market with a market-only touring show… could this be that show? Time will tell. In the meantime, this will be The Cirque’s first new back-to-back-to-back big top production since early days. And what of 2019? Oh, stay tuned!

“O” AT BELLAGIO, FILMED

Sit down for this one folks, you might need a chair! Reports began circulating last month that video cameras were seen filming “O”, Cirque du Soleil’s aquatic show at Bellagio, over a few nights at the end of October (much to the chagrin of some of the patrons). We know that Cirque du Soleil does film its shows for posterity, and for archival purposes (such as La Nouba, or Viva Elvis, or Zarkana at the Kremlin). Sometimes these recordings are packaged and given to the artists (like ZAIA, ZED, Zarkana’s Final Show in Las Vegas, and IRIS). But what makes this news exciting is the fact that these cameras had the logo of a European media company, and ‘lo and behold, ARTE – the French/German TV channel will be broadcasting the show on Wednesday, December 27 at 8:15pm local time. (ARTE, you may recall, was responsible for broadcasting KA back in 2007, and an edited version of Amaluna in 2012). To say we’re excited here at Fascination would be an understatement! We can’t wait to see it! Check out of the following link for more: https://goo.gl/2yJCqG).

CORTEO IS BACK!

It’s been a long time coming – first announced way back on July 21, 2016 – but it’s now official: CORTEO makes its arena premiere on Friday, March 2, 2018! (You can thank CRYSTAL for the delay…)

Corteo first premiered in Montreal in 2005 and has visited more than 60 cities in 19 different countries as a Big Top show before transforming into an arena show, enthralling more than 8 million people. In the remount process (which you can thank CRYSTAL for the delay), a completely new stage and acrobatic structure have been fabricated. A good portion of the original design had to be adapted, with only a small adaptation to the original storyline…

“Get Carried Away With Life”… The clown Mauro has passed, but his spirit is still with us. Instead of mourning, the funeral cortege celebrates the here and hereafter with laughter and exuberance. Rich, extravagant memories frolic with the senses. The sound of laughter peals around the stage, visions of joyous tumblers and players fascinate the eyes. Regret and melancholy retreat in the face of a cavalcade of lively recollections of a life gloriously lived. A festive parade that entertains; the perfect accolade for an artist whose life was dedicated to revelry and making merry.

And some new acts!

Hula-Hoop — At the height of a frenzied moment, a gypsy performer emerges, causing everyone to stop. Using her entire body and all her limbs, she dazzles them with her ability to spin and twirl a multitude of hoops. [This act will replace the Duo Adagio, according to the Press Kit.]

Suspended Pole — Accompanied by the distant sounds of guitar and impassioned vocals, a young ingénue discovers the sheer pleasure of exploring movement and contortion-like shapes while flying above the ground on a suspended pole. [This act replaces the Tightwire act, again according to the Press Kit.]

Check out our online post for an image of the show’s new poster and our ITINERAIRE section for the show’s current tour stops.

LUNA PETUNIA: SEASON THREE

For those of you who have little ones (or just happen to like Luna Petunia), the third season of SABAN and Cirque du Soleil Media’s animated show began airing on NETFLIX Friday, November 17th. The new episodes are:

1. “A Big Stretch / Learning to Fly” — After Sammy gets all stretched out, the friends help him accept his new shape. The gang pitches in to teach an embarrassed baby bat how to fly.

2. “Lil’ Rooey / How Does Your Garden Grow” — When a distracted Karoo loses Lil’ Rooey in a maze, the gang rushes to find him. The friends face a tough decision after a thief raids their garden.

3. “Super Gloop / Perfect Toy” — After getting Donnie’s super-strength gloop on him, Karoo must learn to be gentle. Karoo needs his pals’ help after breaking Lil’ Rooey’s special toy.

4. “Luna Day / The Big Sleep” — Luna’s pals panic when their big Luna Day party plans hit some snags. The gang climbs high to see a late-night mega meteor, but Karoo falls asleep.

5. “Plant Power / Caterball” — Luna plucks a rare flower without asking, causing an uproar in the Jelly Jungle. Luna struggles to learn caterball, but her pals jump in to help.

6. “Treasure of Amazia” — Luna and the gang go on a quest to find the Lost Treasure of Amazia, following clues and solving puzzles to unravel a mystery and make a new friend.

And according to KidScreen – the leading international trade publication serving the informational needs and interests of kidsentertainment professionals – NETFLIX has ordered a fourth season of Luna Petunia. The upcoming season, which will feature new characters and a new land, is set to launch in early 2018. WOWZA!

MSC CRUISES NAMES 3RD MERAVIGLIA-CLASS SHIP

MSC Cruises celebrated construction milestones for two of their ships on November 15th at the STX France shipyard. The traditional coin ceremony was held for MSC Bellissima, as well as the cutting of the first steel for the first Meraviglia-Plus class ship. As part of the steel-cutting ceremony, the name of the Meraviglia-Plus ship was revealed: MSC GRANDIOSA. The second part of the festivities was the coin ceremony for BELLISSIMA, where two commemorative coins were placed into one of the ship’s blocks as a sign of blessing and good fortune for the ship, her crew, and guests. The two mega ships are due to enter into service in March 2019 and November 2019. The Meraviglia-Plus ships are a further evolution of the Meraviglia design, which includes both MSC MERAVIGLIA that launched in June 2017, as well as BELLISSIMA. They are 181,000 gross tons and can hold a whopping maximum capacity of 6,334 guests. The plus class ships will feature the first fine art museum at sea, with a collection of both classic and contemporary art. Another highlight aboard both ships will be CIRQUE DU SOLEIL AT SEA. The longterm partnership between MSC and Cirque du Soleil will see the world’s leader in artistic entertainment create a total of eight original shows just for MSC Cruises’ Meraviglia and Meraviglia-Plus ships. Each of the four vessels will feature two contrasting shows – two of which (Viaggio and Sonor) have already debuted aboard MSC Meraviglia earlier this year. Learn a bit more about Viaggio and Sonor in our news section below.

IN THE ISSUE

Although the NFL Experience opened for previews during the month of November before it’s grand premiere on December 1st, CRYSTAL is still the talk of the press. So you’ll find most of the CRYSTAL-related posts this month under the banner “SPECTACLE – CRYSTAL IN THE PRESS” again this month. And for those who are interested in the NFL EXPERIENCE, check out their collected articles under the BEYOND THE BIGTOP banner in our news section as well. We continue our look back at classic show critiques with 1994’s reviews of Alegria, and conclude our three-part series on JOYA, by hearing from some of the show’s creators and artists. And plenty more!

Okay, so let’s go!

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