Cirque du Soleil is coming back to Winnipeg with a revamped version of their performance called OVO.
The circus company was first created in 1984 in Canada by street performers who aimed to reinvent what the circus was. Not using animals in their shows is what made this company stand out, it focuses on the abilities of the human body rather than an animal's.
From August 3-7 the Canadian-born circus will be performing at the Canada Life Centre with their show called OVO. It's a performance of an ecosystem of lively insects, showing all aspects of life, work, play, fighting, and love and was first created in 2009 and has since undergone creative imagination with new acts, new tricks and new props.
The last time Cirque du Soleil was in Winnipeg was in 2019 under the Big Top with their performance called Amaluna.
"We have different types of touring shows at Cirque du Soleil. We have the resident shows as you see in Vegas where they don't move and we have two types of touring shows," says Janie Mallet, Senior Publicist for Cirque du Soleil. "One is the Big Top, the iconic blue and yellow, and then we're the arena show. so, the Big Top, the tent, they come in and stay for one to two or three months in a city. We are the arena show so we come into a building that exists and we only stay for one week, so we have a very fast touring pace."
Mallet notes that having a touring show allows for bigger props, bigger stages and a bigger audience, despite performing in one place for a short amount of time.
"We have multiple shows on the weekend because it's a show that's so accessible for the family. We have 52 artists on stage and they all speak bug language because they're all insects, we've got scarabs, crickets, spiders and butterflies flying. There's not really a narration, it's all words and inventive language, so it can speak to young ones, not so young ones, everyone in the family will get something out of it."
Life as a Circus Performer
"The show OVO is about a colony of insects, and we're different insects, we are the butterflies of the show and then the clowns, super funny clowns, they show up and two of them are falling in love and then you can see the storyline of them and then there's an egg," says Aerial Straps Artist, Catherine Audy. "I don't want to say too much, you need to come to see the show to have the whole story, but it's a very colourful show with very good music, a Brazilian vibe, very colourful and very lively."
Audy and her partner Alexis Trudel are aerial strap artists and will be performing as the butterflies in the show. Both of them ran away to join the circus by enrolling in circus school 10 years ago and they graduated three years later with a circus background. They are now working with the artistic directors of the show to create the role of the butterfly.
"I was really active so it came later on when I was in high school and then I saw some circus show and from there on it became something I really wanted to go with my goal," says Trudel.
"And it was always our goal to become a Cirque du Soleil artist," says Audy. "When we were in school it was our goal to work for this company. So, when we had the call a few years ago we were very, very happy and excited."
Audy and Trudel agree that they both ran away to join the circus, but their families are very proud of them and what they have accomplished.