Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto

It is the perfect time of year for dreaming, although the magic of Corteo continues all year round.

After touring the show around the country earlier this year, Corteo landed at the Scotiabank Arena ahead of a longer instalment in Montreal over Christmas. Don’t worry, if you are reading this and you have already missed it; the show will be in Hamilton and London in late spring next year!

Chandelier - Lucas Saporiti Costumes Dominique Lemieux 2015 Cirque du Soleil Photo
Chandelier – Lucas Saporiti Costumes Dominique Lemieux 2015 Cirque du Soleil Photo

Corteo is the tale of a not-so-graceful clown who has made his final bow and is escorted to heaven by decidedly more graceful angels. While there are flecks of sadness, the show presents death as more of a journey and a beautiful adventure of reflection. In the end, we are all united by our shared memories.

One scene I particularly loved was bouncing bed scene where 6 performers revisit the joy of jumping on a bed as a kid, only this time they are giant very bouncy 600 pound beds suspended in the air! I also loved the moment Mauro the clown tries his angel wings on for size.

Hauntingly beautiful was the scene in which Mauro and his fellow clowns create a melody using water filled Tibetan bowls, which tugged at the ethereal essence floating throughout the piece.  Cirque certainly know how to weave moments of calm amid their chaos, and this scene juxtaposed beautifully with the Teatro Intimo moment of theatrical anarchy as The Little Clown and The Clowness presented a raucous miniature version of Romeo and Juliet.

As with a classic Cirque de Soleil performance, you can expect madness, comedy and whimsy tied up in a “how-on-earth did they do that” bow.  The bar has been set high for the standard of performer you will find in any Cirque de Soleil and Corteo will not only not disappoint, it will also take your breath away.

Corteo originated under a big top in Montreal nearly 15 years ago and, while the piece has been adapted for stadium tours, it still retains that circus vibe. An array of clowns with painted faces, a pantomime horse, angels, band members peppering all corners with big bold instruments; it all adds up to present a delightful travelling 1800s “freak show” vibe. The otherworldly moments mixed with the utterly surreal certainly do paint the show as a mesmeric dreamland.

Yes, there are some moments that I am dying to talk about in the piece, especially involving Valentyna Pahlevanyan’s helium dance… but I wouldn’t want to ruin even a shred of the magic for you. It is best you see this show for yourself if you get the chance.

To find out more about the show or to buy tickets, visit the Cirque du Soleil website.



About Rebecca Felgate 121 Articles
Writer for Toronto Guardian