R.U.N: The Edgy Side of Cirque du Soleil

{This story was translated into English from the original French using Google Translate}

The 40 RUN stunt artists have been in Montreal since May 28th to finalize the creation of this Cirque du Soleil show, which will be staged at the Casino Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas from October 24th. La Presse spoke with some of its creators.


We’ve been hammering it since the announcement of this creation last April: there will be no acrobatics in this new show, which will take up residence in the new Luxor theater, released last fall by the gothic magician Criss Angel . “It’s a big circus statement,” says creative director Stefan Miljevic, who has been working on the project for three years. “The idea is to build a show based on stunt performances only, so we had to work differently. Instead of going with an acrobatic skeleton, we wrote a story and we tried to see how the performance could feed it. ”


The RUN script was given to Robert Rodriguez ( Spy Kids ), who was inspired by films like 300 or Sin City . “The storyline had to be clear,” says director and choreographer Michael Schwandt, who has worked on the shows of Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar. We are talking about two rival street gangs in Las Vegas. It’s about a wedding in a chapel between two punk-looking couples. “There are no good guys and bad guys, both gangs are mean, but at different levels,” says Michael Schwandt. The show starts with a bang! and a pursuit. The story becomes clear after little by little … ”


Unlike most Cirque shows in Las Vegas (except perhaps Zumanity ), RUN is not intended for a family audience. “It’s not a children’s show,” says Stefan Miljevic. We wanted to come up with something a little more edgy, to get the millennial audience. People who are fans of action and horror movies as well as graphic novels. Cirque’s creative team made sure there was enough variety of stunts to keep going “10 times a week”. “There really is a market for action shows,” says Michael Schwandt, who cites the popularity of UFC fights as an example.


The 40 artists (including only two Canadians) are young stuntmen who are extreme sports enthusiasts or fighters, especially martial artists. About fifteen women are part of the cast. We will also see a contingent of motorcyclists, who will perform aerial stunts we are promised epic. Among these professional daredevils, the Cirque has got its hands on some original specimens, including Auzzy Blood, who will interpret the role of the torturer in RUN This young Californian 23 years old, first trained as a medical assistant, swallows including a sword and will come a “meat hook” in the nose (our apologies to sensitive souls).


Video projections and visual effects are at the heart of this new Cirque production in Las Vegas. The designers are Olivier Goulet and Johnny Ranger (division 4U2C). “The visual elements help us to tell the story,” says Olivier Goulet, behind Geodezik (assigned to 4U2C), who worked on the show Michael Jackson One . “We made short films of cascades that will be integrated into the show and that will put us in context. There are also live cameras that will capture scenes projected on screens that unfold at 270 degrees in the room. The projections finally serve as a setting for action, from the Strip to the chapel. There are effects that are stunning. ”

{ SOURCE: La Presse+ }