A shaky start and missing finale made for a worrying and ultimately disappointing premiere performance of Alegria on Thursday night.
The Cirque du Soleil show, a new 25th-anniversary reboot of a long-running touring production, did have many things going for it. Its costumes were beautiful. Its music was invigorating. The show had an ongoing sense of spectacle. Most importantly, its best set pieces were dazzling, featuring gravity-defying aerialists, gymnasts whose feats of tumbling or contortion made your eyes widen, and a performer who handled flaming batons with life-affirming glee.
But an early mishap in the big-top show on the Zibi site left the audience wondering for minutes how much something had gone wrong.
The show’s kickoff acrobatic feature, in which a team of performers worked with long poles, ended badly. First, a female acrobat missed a high vault that was apparently meant to send her onto the shoulders of one male acrobat, himself standing on a colleague’s shoulders. There was another attempt, but it too failed and seemed to have gone worse than the first try, with poles and at least one performer lying on the ground after. The performers quickly left the stage and one needed help from another.
The production, which debuted in Montreal in mid-April and ran until July 21, was stopped for almost 10 minutes. Later, Cirque du Soleil spokesperson Francis Jalbert told this newspaper that all of the performers were safe and unharmed, and that the break in the performance was to “prevent injuries.”
Link to Full Article at Ottawa Citizen.