Cirque du Soleil enchants audiences |

Cirque du Soleil enchants audiences

Kimberly Nicoletti

DENVER – The silent ringmaster, hunch-backed and dressed in an ornate red costume, shuffles onto the stage while members of the audience still bustle and chat, finding their seats.

Only performers with Cirque du Soleil would dare draw in an unorganized audience simply using movement and facial expressions. Magically, the dark blue tent quiets, and before the band strikes the first chord, the audience settles into a spellbound sense of wonder and excitement that endures throughout the bedazzling performance.

The 2002 North American tour of “Alegria” premieres in Denver this month under the Grand Chapiteau, a state-of-the-art tent measuring 165 feet in diameter and seating 2,500 people in the Pepsi Center parking lot.

“Alegria,” Spanish for elation, joy and jubilation, springs to life as 57 performers from 13 countries stretch the imagination with a striking combination of dance, theater, music, circus acts and visual artistry. Elaborate set designs and extraordinary lighting add an ethereal element to the baroque and operatic style. Flamboyant costumes laden with rhinestones, jewels, glitter and lace embellish the baroque characters, such as the Old Birds, while light blue, silver and white fabrics from all over the world represent the innocence of youthful characters, including angels, nymphs and musicians.

Energy buzzes throughout the audience as outrageous characters strut up the aisles, inviting guests to dance, interact and step on stage. Then, anticipation hangs as pair of trapeze artists swings in a sensuous, synchronized dance in the air, while pair’s shadows mingle upon the raised ceiling.

The excitement builds when high-speed aerialists fly to catchers swinging more than 40 feet above the audience. Then with the vibrance of youth, gymnasts tumble across a series of trampolines, flipping so fast their bodies blur. The display of perfect artistry is like the grand finale of fireworks, only the show continues, involving the audience in a blizzard of white beauty.

No circus is complete without clowns, and the clowning at Cirque du Soleil provides a necessary break from the intense, delightful stimuli. Only once or twice do the clown acts seem a bit long, but soon enough, a fire dancer heats up the stage with flaming knives, artists somersault and twist upward and land on Russian bars balanced on the shoulders of two men and two agile contortionists twist into mind-boggling positions wearing delicately painted unitards, which give the illusion of tattooed bodies.

The artists’ passion to challenge the limit of their skills, and their bodies, is evident in each performance, and the commitment to deliver an amazing experience presents itself in the cast’s unbounded energy.

Tickets range from $45 to $65 for adults, $31.50 to $45.50 for children and $40.50 to $58.50 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased by calling 1-800-678-5440 or by visiting the Web site at

Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 245 or by e-mail at

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