THE CREATION OF ALEGRÍA
Alegría, a Spanish word for elation, exhilaration and jubilation, is a spectacular production that evokes a time when fantasy and magic were integral parts of everyday life – a time when a person’s world was his family, his village, and beyond was the great unknown. Alegría is a carnival, harkening back to the travelling family circuses that criss-crossed Europe not so long ago.
Guy Laliberté (Founding President): “The appeal of the circus is universal. A circus show has the power to touch us, to enchant and amaze us. Ever since Cirque du Soleil’s beginnings, we’ve had this single goal: to astonish you, and leave you breathless. We are very pleased to present Alegría. This show casts the world in a different light: here, all the dreams are permitted, and you are the king, the poet, and the clown. The stage is a royal court where imagination reigns, where all the emotions of the soul are expressed, but where joy wins out in the end. Come take your place at the royal court, and may your evening be crowned with success!”
Franco Dragone (Director): “Alegría harks back to the travelling family circuses that criss-crossed Europe not so long ago. It’s characters, costumes, and performances evoke a time when fantasy was more real and magic was a part of everyday life; a time when each Fool had a King; a time when a person’s world was a family, his village, and beyond was the great unknown. Today the universe has shrunk, but the individual’s isolation has grown. We do not choose to turn back the clock, we cannot change the world. But we can rediscover a magical belief in human tenderness.”
Alegría’s set is an imposing monument; it is an undefined monolithic structure suggesting an institution of great power and influence. It is a huge structure, heavy in its connotations yet light in its execution.
The lighting is designed to reflect a nostalgic atmosphere, like that of a 17th-century ballroom. The autumnal tones create the luminous obscurity of the show.
The lavish costumes for those characters representing the Old Order are made from richly coloured fabrics and are painstakingly hand-detailed with lace, feathers and sequins. They evoke the flamboyant costumes worn at the court of Versailles. The costumes for the Bronx and the Nymphs, those characters representing the New Order, are made from lighter, mostly synthetic materials, and emphasize the agile bodies of these characters who will take control of the future.
The lively and emotional musical score moves between jazz, pop, tango and klezmer. The band evokes the sound of travelling minstrels by using acoustic instruments, including an accordion as the genuine voice of the street.
Alegría is the vision of a award winning creative team guided by Founding President Guy Laliberté, led by director Franco Dragone and is created by Gilles Ste-Croix (Creative Director), Dominique Lemieux (costumes), Michel Crête (set design), Debra Brown (choreography), the late Guy Desrochers (sound design), Luc Lafortune (lighting), René Dupéré (composer) and Sylvie Galarneau (Artistic Director).