Culture & Entertainment
2019 - 2023
An Icon Revisited
Coming back to its roots almost exactly 25 years after celebrating the premiere of Alegría in Montreal, Cirque du Soleil recently celebrated the opening of a new, remastered version of the show in the city’s Old Port.
Narrating a power struggle within a kingless monarchy and internationally known for the emblematic song of its finale, Alegría is one of Cirque du Soleil’s most popular shows. From 1994 to 2013, it was seen by 14 million spectators in more than 255 cities in the world. Scheduled to tour in North America, this reinterpretation of Alegría, powered by brand-new technology, is set to perform in Montreal until July 2019 before moving to Gatineau from August to September and settling in Toronto for the rest of the Autumn 2019.
Needless to say the stakes were high when Solotech, a 35-year partner of Cirque du Soleil, was chosen to supply the lighting equipment for the reinterpretation of the iconic show. Working with Alegría’s Lighting Designer Mikki Kunttu and Lighting Project Manager at Cirque du Soleil Christian Blais, Solotech was able to meet the lighting needs (and expectations) of the world’s leader in Live Entertainment.
Challenges of Lighting Under the Big Top
It’s the first time in 10 years that Alegría is being performed under a Big Top. Such a venue comes with significant challenges in terms of equipment—weight, size, power consumption, etc. Cirque du Soleil selected to use LED sources as a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to reduce its environmental footprint.
To find the best suitable products to address the challenges without compromising on quality or the design, Mathieu Taillon, Major Account Manager, Sales and Systems Integration at Solotech, set up a range of lighting products, as requested by Kunttu and Blais, to be tested. Their selection of lighting fixtures resulted in an almost entirely LED-based design, allowing for both energy-savings and expanded creative options. The Cirque du Soleil team selected a new generation of extremely performant, high-output Ayrton lights. The plot uses Mistral and Ghibli spot lights, as well as the very light, compact Ayrton NandoBeam S3 and S9 wash lights.
According to Jacques Tessier, president of Theatrixx, Ayrton’s exclusive distributor in Canada and a long-time Solotech partner, those products offer a range of advantages unrivalled on the market: “The new Ayrton luminaires power consumption is much lower; the maintenance is considerably reduced. LED sources reduce energy consumption by 75% and have life spans of up to 17 years, using them 8 hours a day. Another advantage is that they don’t overheat as other products do, so in a tent, during the summer, you’re going to spend much less on air conditioning. And they are really silent.” Along with working with Solotech to provide the Ayrton fixtures, Theatrixx supplied most of the power cabling and electric distribution for the production.
The whole process turned out to be a great success for Cirque du Soleil. Since the beginning of the production, the remastered version of Alegría has been critically-acclaimed in the press and applauded by hundreds of spectators. As for Mikki Kunttu, his lighting design has been well-received and he looks forward to working with Solotech and using the Ayrton products on future creative projects.
They’ve talked about it: PLSN Magazine – http://plsn.com/articles/theater-production/alegria/
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