(Julie Dionne (left) and her team of aerial artists with Corteo by Cirque Du Soleil rehearsing their chandelier scene at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Thurs. Jan. 10, 2019. Photo above by Noah Gecelovsky / Eyes On Windsor.)
Opening night is the performance that players prepare for the longest and hardest. That’s the performance with the most pressure and that is stressed the hardest.
In many cases it can also be where the most kinks and mistakes take place. Many other performers may find opening night is the time to iron out the wrinkles. Of course for Cirque Du Soleil, none of this applies.
The opening night in Detroit for Cirque Du Soleil’s Corteo was flawless to the audience’s eyes.
From aerial acrobatics and seesaw stunts, to a maestro (Mr. Loyal) whistling Mozart while the chorus plays along with glasses in cannon and all intertwined with some comic relief from the main character, Mauro the Clown — not to mention a flying woman.
Created by Daniele Finzi Pasca, the story of Corteo takes place in Spain around the life of Mauro the Clown — rather, it takes place around the life and death of Mauro the Clown.
The performance is a culmination of stories remembering Mauro’s life and the aftermath of his death. Mauro has just died and the performance illustrates his life and the fond memories he shared with his friends and past lovers while at the same time the funeral and procession take place with his fellow performers celebrating the life of their friend through many different colourful and joyous scenes.
You may have seen commercials for Cirque Du Soleil performances with exotic animal costumes and bright colourful makeup. This is not the case for Corteo.
The costumes for Corteo are more along the lines of traditional circus attire and the makeup is more to emphasis the natural beauty of the human body. However, none of this hinders any aesthetic when it comes to the performances.
Each act is full of striking colour, but most of all brought to life through their extraordinary performances in each act. The show begins with an exuberant rush of cast members running across the stage and then the Chandelier Act begins. Bright flashes of light fill the arena while a large aerial acrobatic act takes place and suddenly they have your undivided attention.
While Corteo was initially created and toured from 2005-2015 for the big top tent, directors of the Cirque Du Soleil classic believe that the transfer to arenas has been a clean and given the performance a new life for people to come and see.
Corteo features an almost submersive stage in the centre of the arena with the ability to watch the performance from both sides enabling the audience to feel closer rather than sitting at the far side of the arena straining to see the show at the opposite end.
In all, it was not only a marvelous show of great acrobatic talent, but it was also an intimate story illustrating the colourful life of a great performer. The transfer from big top to arena is flawless and for people that have had the chance to see the big top performance, may find the arena version of Corteo even more youthful and enlightening.
Cirque Du Soleil will be performing Corteo at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Mich. this weekend from January 10-13. Just in case you miss it this weekend, they will be returning to the WFCU Centre in Windsor, Ont. performing from May 15-19.
Article by Noah Gecelovsky
Noah Gecelovsky is a young photojournalist and St. Clair College journalism program graduate. He has covered events across Windsor-Essex County for the college’s Scene Magazine and the MediaPlex. As a freelance photographer, he has shot bands in cities across Southwestern Ontario and Michigan. When on the opposite of the camera lens, Noah is the talented drummer of Blues rock band, The Dead River Kings. Since 2017, Noah has offered freelance photography services as Raging Bull Photography which can be found on Facebook and Instagram.