VOLTA cancels show in N.J. after ’emotional’ return

Just a day after its big debut in New Jersey, Cirque du Soleil’s “Volta” was again canceled, but just for one show.

The company says it chose to do away with a two-show lineup at the Meadowlands on Sunday because performers remained emotional after the death of one of their peers.

Following the death of aerialist Yann Arnaud after a fall during a March 17 performance of “Volta” in Tampa, the show, originally scheduled to open outside Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford on March 29, was postponed until April 20.

The show did open as planned on Friday, but ticketholders were informed on Saturday night that a Sunday evening show would be canceled. They were not given a reason for the cancelation. A “Volta” performance scheduled for Sunday afternoon, however, went on as planned.

Marie-Helene Lagace, head of public relations for Cirque du Soleil in Montreal, tells NJ Advance Media that the company couldn’t have known the performers’ state of mind until the show returned on Friday.

“It’s actually proven to be more emotional than we anticipated,” she says.

“The conclusion after that first show is that presenting two shows per night is too soon for them,” Lagace says.

Since the only night booked for two shows was Sunday, April 22, one was canceled.

“It’s absolutely essential that they are in the right state of mind before going on stage,” Lagace says. “All of the other shows are being presented as scheduled.”

When Cirque resumed its performances on Friday, April 20, the show paid tribute to Arnaud, who died at 38 after falling during an aerial straps routine.

“In our production of ‘Totem’ and more recently in ‘Volta,’ he gave joy to many, many people,” a member of the production said at the start of Friday’s show, Deadline reports. “And I believe it is the only way to bring honor to him by also doing what we love. To inspire dreams to touch hearts, and share with you our entertainment.”

Lagace apologized for the short notice, saying the company had tried to reach all ticketholders by email or phone. Starting on Tuesday, April 24, the show is expected to continue with all planned performances.

“We really don’t do this lightly,” she says. “If we make a decision to cancel the show, we do this because we think it’s in the best interest of the safety of our performers.” She says the cancelation of the Sunday night show allows the performers to get a better footing.

“All of our fans have been incredibly supportive throughout the past few weeks,” she says.

{ SOURCE: NJ.com }