Alegría is a mood, a state of mind. The themes of the show, whose name means "jubilation" in Spanish, are many. Power and the handing down of power over time, the evolution from ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth - it is against this backdrop that the characters of Alegría play out their lives. Kings' fools, minstrels, beggars, old aristocrats and children make up its universe, along with the clowns, who alone are able to resist the passing of time and the social transformations that accompany it.
The lavish costumes for the characters representing the Old Order—Fleur, the Old Birds and the Singers—are made from richly-colored fabrics which are painstakingly hand-detailed with lace, feathers and sequins. They evoke the flamboyant costumes worn by the aristocracy at Versailles and other European palaces of the period.
The costumes for the New Order—the gold-clad Bronx, Nymphs and Angels—reflect the same rich tones, with less decoration, but more luminous for these young creatures. The materials are lighter and emphasize the agile bodies of these characters who will take control of the future.
- Alegría has over 400 costume pieces including custom-made shoes, wigs, hats and accessories.
- The costumes are produced in Montreal at the Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters where over 300 artisans are employed in the costume workshops.
- Lycra is one of the most-used fabrics for the costumes because it is flexible and comfortable for the artists and is easy to care for.
- It takes approximately 200 hours to create one Old Bird costume.
- Each of the singers’ costumes includes more than 200 hand-sewn jewels.
- The Alegría wardrobe team includes 4 permanent touring staff and 2 or 3 local wardrobe employees in each city. They are responsible to maintain and repair all costumes.
- The Alegría tour travels with washers and dryers to make it easy for the wardrobe staff to clean and maintain the costumes.