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Celebrating 25 Years of Alegría: A Rallying Anthem of Joy and Optimism

Twenty-five years ago, the world got its first glimpse of a magical world of angels and clowns, graceful nymphs and preening fools. And, clearly, the world was enchanted. 

After premiering in Montreal, Quebec in April 1994, Alegría quickly became one of Cirque du Soleil’s most beloved productions. Its daring acrobatics and whimsical staging set the tone for the entire company. Over the next 19 years, the show would captivate over 14 million people in 255 cities around the world.

Now, six years after its final bow, Alegría is back on the road and reimagined through a modern lens to delight long-time fans and new audiences. The reinvigorated show features new costumes, sets and choreography. New arrangements of Alegría’s signature songs—including its Grammy-nominated theme song—blend electronica, rock, orchestral and acoustic influences. 

As before, the show tells a mystical tale of a kingdom where a fool dreams of taking over the throne, aristocrats struggle to hang onto their privileges, and memorable characters use their wit and energy to try to overthrow the status quo. Ultimately, it’s a story of the triumph of light over darkness, optimism over pessimism, and hope over fear.

A diverse team brings this story under Cirque du Soleil’s famous Big Top. The company holds auditions around the world to find performers in a wide range of disciplines, including circus artists, singers and gymnasts. Did you know, for instance, that 40 per cent of Cirque du Soleil’s performers are former professional athletes? That’s not surprising, given the intense physical demands of its shows. 

In Alegría, the jaw-dropping spectacles include a female acrobat balancing delicately on a series of canes, a group of performers swinging between bars suspended 32 feet above the stage, and tumblers hurtling into the air from a pair of giant trampolines.

In all, 125 cast and crew members from 20 countries bring the touring show to life. Aside from the 53 performers the audience sees, there’s a huge team working behind the scenes, including 25 technicians, four chefs, three wardrobe staffers and two performance medicine therapists. It takes a crew of 100 technicians over a week to set up the huge Big Top, which can seat 2,600 people for each performance. 

For many Cirque du Soleil fans, the costumes are a highlight of any show, and in this respect, Alegría shines. The production features 96 costumes, which took more than 20,000 hours to create. Dazzling materials include specially printed fabrics, lace and shimmering gold accents. And the costume of the fool, Mr. Fleur, includes five yards of electrical wire!

Alegría is just one of 24 productions Cirque du Soleil is offering this year but it’s the only one to give audiences a peek into the very roots of Cirque du Soleil—as well as a glimpse into the groundbreaking company’s future. Catch a performance in any of the following U.S. cities below.

Miami, FL: December 13, 2019 – February 17, 2020

Houston, TX: February 29, 2020 – April 12, 2020

Austin, TX: April 22, 2020 – May 25, 2020

Chicago, IL: June 5, 2020 – July 12, 2020

Washington, DC: July 28, 2020 – September 27, 2020

Don’t miss your chance to see this reinterpretation of an iconic Cirque du Soleil show. Book your Alegría tickets today.