If you haven’t experienced a Cirque du Soleil show personally you have not experienced anything like Alegria. The show will be at the KFC YUM Center until Sunday; there are two performances each day until June 12. Please don’t let the opportunity to be part of this celebration pass unnoticed. Everything else I can tell you is just commentary.
Cirque du Soleil has become a mountain on the cultural terrain. It’s difficult to believe that prior to 1986 there was nothing like it on the planet. Although Cirque carries elements of ancient traditions I doubt there has ever been anything like it in the history of the world; a unique combination of high concept visual art, music, dance, acrobatics and music. One of the earliest works developed by the team was Alegria, which has been touring the world since 1994.
In Spanish “alegria” means jubilation and Alegria, the show, is a celebration of youth, energy and possibility. Although opening night audiences in Louisville were predictably conservative in their initial response, by the end of the evening everyone had enthusiastically joined the party. My shoulders and hands were aching by the end of the evening from constant applause.
Alegria is a collection of amazing feats of strength, flexibility and balance, but the collective is more fascinating than the individual components. With Alegria, Cirque’s founder Guy Laliberte has created an international family with members from Mongolia, Canada, Belgium, Russia, Sweden, France, the United States, The United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, Belarus, Denmark, Ukraine, Argentina, Portugal and Brazil. He has used the underlying artistic principal of distortion and expansion to highlight what is essential to our humanity. In creating the fantastic worlds of Cirque du Soleil these artists become a reflection of human potential.
A few thoughts for you to consider before attending: the people on stage are working to make a personal connection with you so don’t be afraid to react. When the Fluer shouts “Alegria/Jubilation” he isn’t shouting at you—he is calling to you. Don’t hold back if you feel like responding. I think you’ll find that your experience gets better with active participation. Also, there are some amazing clowns in this production and if you are seated on the floor chances are you are going to encounter them, prepare yourself to join in the fun.