Cirque de Soleil’s Alegria At Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City Through April 10
Friday, April 8, 2011 • 6:48am
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – A man suspends and balances his entire body in mid-air while rotating. A young female contortionist is able bring her feet over her head while her chin remains on the ground. Trapeze artists somersault in the air to connect with each other in a human chain.
These are just some of the things that audiences will see against a backdrop of theater and live music at Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall this weekend while watching Alegria, one of Cirque du Soleil’s longest running productions.
Alegria, like all Cirque shows, is known for its display of human contortion, acrobatics and song. It is a fantastic demonstration of human motion as an expressive art form brought to life in a theatrical context.
“Motion is part of evoking the senses and evoking emotion and getting people involved in the show,” said Cirque spokesperson Vanessa Napoli. “It’s also a way of being more personal with the audience so that they wrap themselves into the show.”
Seen as a modern day circus, all Cirque shows are created from a storyline and use a variety of clowns, dancers, contortionists and trapeze artists to amaze audiences. There are very few spoken words in a Cirque production, and when audible sounds are used, they're in gibberish.
“We like to portray stories that are part of the universal language of emotion,” Napoli said.
Alegria, the Spanish word for “jubilation,” is a story about the power struggle between generations and youth’s revolt over the ruling establishment.
Alegria is one of Cirque’s most popular productions. It has been traveling the world for 15 years and has been seen by more than 10 million people. Napoli said each production sets down on a continent for two years and then moves on to another part of the globe. Alegria will move to Europe in August and that is no small feat. The Alegria production contains 18 tractor trailers worth of sets and costumes, for 55 performers from 17 countries.
Created in 1984 by Quebec-based street performers Guy Laibert and Daniel Gauthier, Cirque de Soleil now has 22 shows in its repertoire with themes that would appeal to children and adults.
“Guy has this need to entertain people but in a different way, to evoke the senses and evoke emotion,” Napoli said. “All of Cirque’s productions contain components of theater, dance and live music.”
Alegria runs through April 10. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or at the Boardwalk Hall box office. For more information call (609) 449-7130.