Royal Albert Hall, London
In the revival and enhancement of one of Cirque du Soleil’s finest shows, Alegria In A New Light is perhaps the most beautiful of the company’s productions to have been staged in the capital. The evening’s skilled serenity is quite simply circus at its finest.
Unlike previous recent Cirque du Soleil shows, the music here is performed live with Vincent Cordel leading his 5-piece band, and ethereal backing vocals provided by Sarah Manesse and Cassia Raquel. In most of the recent years the soundtrack has been a (beautifully created) recording . Here , with the performers on stage, there is an added texture to the music with the sound perfectly balanced to the Royal Albert Hall’s challenging acoustics.
Of course the evening’s circus acts are just spectacular. Early on in the show there are impressive acts of human pyramids being formed while balancing on long scaffold poles. The timing, fitness and skill of the artistes proving, as always, stunning.
Alegria In A New Light is in some ways more traditional than the typical left-field Cirque du Soleil approach. The evening’s ethos feeling more utopian than dystopian - channelling beauty into every second of performance. There’s a pair of Spanish clowns who through mine and physical comedy, deliver a turn that’s sublime. And the transformation of the hall’s cavernous interior into a blizzard-swept landscape is breathtaking in its audacity.
The aerial work is typically magnificent in any circus show. What makes it even more so at the Royal Albert Hall are the lofty heights that the performers work from. The hoisting and stretching of the safety net signals the descent of the flying trapeze rigging - from which a cavalcade of 10 performers flop, whirl and somersault through the air, the view becoming a blur of bodies as the split-second synchronicity plays on high. A spectacular end to an exquisite evening.
Circus doesn’t get better than this.
Runs until 3rd March