Tag Archive: cirque du soleil


Two summer traditions will be gracing stages in Las Vegas in June: the Nevada Ballet Theatre-Cirque du Soleil collaborative concert “A Choreographers’ Showcase,” and “Ribbon of Life,” presented by Golden Rainbow and benefiting those living with HIV/AIDS.

“A Choreographers’ Showcase,” now in its fifth year, gives the artistic minds in NBT and Cirque a chance to choreograph on themselves and each other. The concert tends to be a lively mix of fresh ideas and excellent dancing. Catch the show at 1 p.m. on June  9 and 10 at the Viva Elvis theater at CityCenter. Tickets are $20 and $40 and can be purchased by calling 702-590-7760 or by clicking here.

“Ribbon of Life” is another long-standing tradition; this is the 26th anniversary of the show. Choreographers come from all over the city, lending the show a diverse and vibrant feel that has the added perk of raising thousands of dollars for Golden Rainbow, a nonprofit organization. “Ribbon of Life” will be performed at 1 p.m. on June 24 at the Smith Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Smith Center box office at 702-749-2000.

Photo by Julie Aucoin

The show that’s been in Las Vegas for nearly two decades just added two new high-flying aerial acts, one featuring flying trapeze artists and one with a fabulous aerialist on silks. If you haven’t seen the show, there is no better time. If you have, you should go again.

I was fortunate enough to get to see the revamped “Mystere” when it premiered on March 3, and it rocked my dance-bloggin’ world. The classics are still there: the semi-creepy, bottle-toting baby, the mischievous clowns, the squawking hand puppet and its pompous animator, the hand-to-hand balancers that will give you chills, and the big, mysterious inflatable snail. The show is classic Cirque at its finest, showcasing Chinese pole acts, Korean plank posses, incredible acro stunts and captivating characters.

Throw in 20 new cast members and a renovated set and it’s difficult to go wrong. I spoke with head coach Karl Abraham and artistic director David Gomez about what it’s like to have 1/3 of the cast learn the show from scratch in a few short weeks, as well as the logistics of replacing massive pieces of equipment and breathing life into a show that’s been performed more than 8,500 times.

Check out the full story on the Best of Las Vegas site here, and be sure to catch the live version if you can!

Giulio Scatola, Cirque’s talent scout and a fine artist in his own right, has directed and choreographed “Take Off with Us,” a tribute to Bob Fosse, at the Ovation at Green Valley Ranch. The  concert series was produced in conjunction with RagTag Entertainment and revenue will benefit Golden Rainbow, a nonprofit organization supporting those living with HIV and AIDS.

If that sounds like your cup of tea — or bowl of cherries — stop by the Ovation theater today, Feb. 21, or Feb. 28. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the shows start at 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the door; admission is $15. All ages must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. For more information, check out the Green Valley Ranch entertainment page.

Here’s a preview. Enjoy!

Cirque du Soleil, supplier of serious eye candy in Las Vegas, is stepping beyond the stage and into the Trifecta Gallery in the Arts Factory downtown. Those who work for the company were invited to submit works of art for “Parade: the Collective” and no medium was off-limits: paintings, fabric compositions, sculptures and more are all featured in the gallery.

This is the seventh such exhibit that Cirque has organized with the interest of promoting artistic exploration and freedom for its employees. If nothing else, it demonstrates the lofty artistic goals of the company and how, through methods like “Parade,” the creative minds seek to make art available for everyone.

Check out the Trifecta homepage for more information about the exhibit.

Melena Rounis, a Cirque du Soleil dancer currently in “The Beatles LOVE,” will be groovin’ into the Rock Center for Dance on Jan. 24 for a one-time hip-hop master class. Rounis has organized the Step Up and Dance fundraisers for several years running, is the co-founder of Drive Dance Centre in Vancouver and is an excellent source for old-school funk — and lots of energy — in Las Vegas. (Find out more about Melena at her website here.)

The class is $15 and runs from 2-3:30 on Tuesday, Jan. 24. Be there and get your groove on!

Rounis sports her "Feed Your Creativity" t-shirt, which was included for anyone who donated $20 or more.

Melena Rounis, a Cirque dancer in “The Beatles LOVE,” put on the third annual Step Up and Dance fundraiser on Nov.19, which raised more than $700 in a few short hours to help feed hungry families in Nevada.

Rounis’ recipe for this event has proven true over the years. For participants, it’s simple. Pay a $10 minimum donation and take your fill of half-hour-long master classes in a variety of styles. This year, teachers included Rounis herself, fellow Cirque dancers Katy Tate, Sheila Joy and Fred Odgaard, Tyrell Rolle of “The Lion King” and master locker Scoo B Doo. Around 50 people showed up to dance and donate.

Participants could pick and choose from the smorgasbord of styles, which spanned the genres from old-school hip-hop and locking to burlesque, jazz and funk. Dancers of all ages and with varying experience levels got down for a good cause and Rounis said she was thrilled with the turnout this year.

“I think this year was great because it had a perfect dynamic and a great number of people,” Rounis said. “There was space for everyone to dance, so I think every year has been a success. I’m not humble at all,” she continued, laughing.

Katy Tate, dance captain at “LOVE,” taught what she called a “Lil Wayne” contemporary combination and concurred with Rounis about the importance of outreach. “How great is it to be able to do what you love and support those in need?,” she asked.

Tate said that thinking of others is important for more than just charity. “If you’re thinking about yourself the whole time, you only have a fraction of a class,” Tate said, encouraging dancers to watch and learn from each other in dance classes.

Katy Tate combined classical movement with contemporary style in her combination to Lil Wayne's "How to Love."

Tyrell Rolle of “The Lion King” voiced a similar message during his funk class. “You shouldn’t be a one-sided dancer,” he said emphatically. “Whatever it is, commit to it.”

And Rounis, despite dancing 10 shows a week for Cirque, is committed to Step Up and Dance. Another workshop is taking place on Dec. 18 at Drive Dance Center in Vancouver, a dance studio Rounis co-founded. “I think it’s going to be huge,” Rounis said. “I’m already out of posters and fliers and they’ve only been promoting for a week! But that’s a good thing.”

Despite challenges of working around professionals’ schedules and organizing events remotely, Rounis said she has high hopes for the fundraiser in the future. “Honestly, since I’ve started this event, it just keeps getting better each year,” she said.

Although it might seem like a long time before the next Step Up and Dance event, check out the photos below in the meantime.

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Hey, Cirque fans! If you’re interested in knowing more about the iconic entertainment company, check out Cirque Week, a series of behind-the-scenes demos and discussions of all things Cirque du Soleil. (Ticket information and a schedule is available here.)

Company executives chatted about what it takes to keep a company like Cirque going. Participants checked out costumes up close, watched rehearsals of bungee routines from “Mystere” and saw exclusive footage of the Cirque mother-ship in Montreal. These are a few examples of the breadth of programming Cirque has put on to let superfans get to know the company better.

The 10-day series is almost over, but stop by Best of Las Vegas to see my coverage of a few of the events. There’s nothing wrong with living vicariously, right?

The secret behind Cirque is yours to seek

More to ‘Love’ for Cirque Week

Cirque’s insight = serious business

Cirque coach shares secrets

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