WORCESTER – For 40 years, Cirque du Soleil has been a name synonymous with high quality performance, daring acrobatic feats, and memorable family fun and its show “Corteo” is no exception.
Playing now through Sunday at the DCU Center, Corteo follows the eclectic imaginings of a clown who visualizes his funeral procession as an absurd and festive parade. Comedy routines, lively dances, and unexpected audience participation are all part of the fun.
“This is the perfect show because it is not just about entertainment, but also about celebrating life and exploring deep emotions,” said Alexandra Gaillard, senior publicist for Corteo.
The Corteo tour arrived in Worcester with a team of 117 people from 28 different countries and 18 buses full of technical gear, props, and over 2,000 wardrobe pieces. The performers and staff become family on tour as they move from city to city every week. The traveling is part of the excitement for the performers, but also requires highly skilled technicians who can safely set up and break down the rigging for the performers as they complete their risky acrobatic stunts.
“There is a lot of one-way trust with the performers. If we make a mistake, they could get hurt,” Mathieu Delaney, a swing technician from Canada said. “Which is why we are extremely vigilant.”
While the constant change of venues can be tricky, Delaney enjoys creating the “magic” that keeps audiences enthralled.
Cirque du Soleil recruits performers and artists who are peak athletes, some are even former Olympians. These performers come together from all over the world, but their journeys to Cirque are all unique. Joseane Martins Costa from Brazil was a competitive synchronized swimmer who took gymnastics as a child. Costa became fascinated by acrobatics and started training for the trapeze and started performing in shows. After being cast in Corteo, Costa trained to become an acrobat who performs in the Russian cradle.
It takes years of training to make dangerous stunts look effortless, Costa explained.
“You have the adrenaline; it’s about controlling your adrenaline. We train 100 times, 1,000 times with the safety belt, before we actually remove it. Then the trick becomes automatic in your body,” Costa said.
“I love the challenge. I enjoy like the challenge of like of doing new things. The audience is there to support you and they’re going to clap for you even if you fall,” Costa said about why her job as a Cirque performer is a dream come true. “In competitions you have the pressure of needing to be perfect. Here don’t need to be perfect, you just need to do a good job and keep yourself going. You have pressure but it’s a different type of pressure and you have lots of support from the people who are watching you. It’s a really beautiful experience at the end of the show to just feel the claps and receive the audience’s energy.”
Corteo is in its 17th year of touring. Check out this captivating tour and see why over 10 million audience members have connected with this comedic and thrilling performance. Tickets are available at https://www.dcucenter.com/event-calendar/cirque-du-soleil/.