x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Cirque du Soleil to open Dubai theatre

The Montreal-based act is planning to open a new, permanent show at the Palm Jumeirah.

Cirque du Soleil plans to open a permanent, purpose-built venue at the Palm Jumeirah.
Cirque du Soleil plans to open a permanent, purpose-built venue at the Palm Jumeirah.

DUBAI // Cirque du Soleil is to open a new, permanent show at the Palm Jumeirah. It is planned to open in 2011 at a purpose-built theatre, which would be the only place in the world where this show is performed. The Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil has set up permanent homes in Las Vegas and Orlando in the US, and also has more than a dozen shows touring the world at any one time.

Cirque du Soleil also announced it would perform a five-week run of the touring show Alegria in March and April in Dubai next year. The company first visited the city last year with Quidam, watched by sell-out crowds. "Alegria is a lighter show than Quidam; it has more ongoing, high-end acrobatics, whereas Quidam gave you a bit of a break throughout," said Milan Rokic, the Cirque du Soleil vice-president of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region. "Quidam is a bit of a deeper show, a bit more introverted, while Alegria is much more of an extroverted show.

"The other big difference is that the music soundtrack for this show is among the best that we have in all of our shows worldwide. The lead song from Alegria lasted 100 weeks in the charts in 1994 when the show was launched." Mr Rokic said the name Alegria is Spanish for joy and jubilation. "It's about a celebration of life; it's about a change from the old guard to the new guard and the struggle for power between those two warring factions. I think you come out of it feeling quite exhilarated."

Mr Rokic said each Cirque du Soleil show would cost about US$20 million (Dh73.4m) to design and produce, and about US$10 million to bring to each stop on the tour. The theatre to house the as-yet-unnamed permanent show is being built as part of the Palm Mall, a multibillion-dirham project at the initial stages of construction. "We are trying to bring an additional entertainment aspect to enhance the cultural dimension of the communities we build," said Robert Lee, the managing director of investment projects at Nakheel.

"In Las Vegas and Orlando, Cirque du Soleil has put together a custom show for that city, and that will be the same here. To see this show, you have to come to Dubai." gmcclenaghan@thenational.ae