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Cirque du Soleil: Corteo in Halifax

The air was buzzing with anticipation last Thursday evening as eager fans filled the seats at the Scotiabank Centre for the opening night of Cirque du Soleil: Corteo in Halifax. The nearly week-long visit from this world-renowned circus troupe had everyone talking, and the energy on the streets was contagious.


There’s something magical that happens in Halifax whenever the Cirque is in town. People of all ages and backgrounds come together, united by their excitement to witness the incredible performances that define every Cirque du Soleil tour. As a long-time fan of the group, I could hardly contain my own excitement for this latest show. Even before the curtains dropped, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation, exchanging smiles and happy conversations.


The stage setup was unlike anything I’d seen from Cirque du Soleil before. A sheer curtain lined the center of the stage, splitting the arena in half, and the space was adorned with incandescent lighting from long-candled chandeliers. A spotlight illuminated the turntable stage, keeping the audience intrigued. As the show began, performers entered from both sides of the curtain, engaging both halves of the audience and adding a unique layer to the production.


The story of Corteo – which means “procession” in Italian – centers around a clown named Mauro, who envisions his own carnivalesque funeral attended by his fellow circus performers. Given the theme and the dimly lit stage that greeted the audience upon arrival, one might expect a somber show. However, this was far from the case. The production was executed brilliantly, with sets and props reminiscent of the grand circuses of the 1920s. The characters were captivating, both in their acrobatics and stage presence, and the live music, combined with the stunning theatrics, delivered the kind of punch that only Cirque du Soleil can. There were so many highlights that it was hard to know where to look, yet somehow, I managed to catch every magical moment. One performance that particularly stood out to me was the Helium Dance Act by Valentyna Pahlevanyan. Suspended by giant helium balloons, she gracefully floated above the crowd, ascending and descending throughout the arena.


Attending Cirque du Soleil: Corteo in Halifax was a true privilege, especially on its opening night. Their next stop is in Moncton, NB, from June 13 to June 16 at the Avenir Centre. If you have the chance, I strongly encourage you to experience this incredible show for yourself. It’s an event you won’t want to miss.

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