Corteo, que en italiano significa cortejo, es una alegre procesión, un desfile festivo imaginado por un payaso. El espectáculo aúna la pasión del actor con la gracia y la potencia del acróbata para llevar al público a un mundo teatral de diversión, humor y espontaneidad situado en un misterioso espacio entre el cielo y la tierra.
El payaso muestra su propio funeral, que se celebra con aires de carnaval y bajo la mirada tranquila de ángeles. El espectáculo, que yuxtapone lo grande con lo pequeño, lo ridículo con lo trágico y la magia de la perfección con el encanto de la imperfección, destaca la fuerza y la fragilidad del payaso, así como su sabiduría y gentileza, para ilustrar la parte de humanidad que llevamos dentro de nosotros. La música, llena de lirismo y juguetona, hace de Corteo una celebración en la que la ilusión se burla de la realidad.
The set and decor of Corteo plunge the audience into a lyrical world, a strange area between heaven and earth.
Set Designer Jean Rabasse has divided the Grand Chapiteau and its rotating stage in two, with each half of the audience facing the other half, so they see not only the performance, but also have a performer’s eye view of the audience. This is a first for Cirque du Soleil.
- There are two turntables built into the stage, which is about 31.6 m long, and the track is almost 12.5 m long.
- More than 9,000 images were used in the research and development phase of the set design to blend many visual styles and influences, from the baroque to the modern.
The Patience is a massive arched technical structure made of steel which dominates the interior of the Grand Chapiteau. It is one of the most complex set elements in the show and is used to transport various scenic elements and pieces of acrobatic equipment on and off stage from above.
- The Patience has two rails that traverse the Grand Chapiteau.
- Each rail is fitted with four platform-like carts to carry the scenic and acrobatic elements.
- The eight carts have a lifting capacity of 450 kg and a top speed of 1.2 m per second.
- The Patience is 12.5 m above the stage at its highest point. It is entirely self-supporting and could be set up anywhere.
It was a visit to the exhibition “The Great Parade: Portrait of the Artist as a Clown” at the National Gallery of Canada that inspired Jean Rabasse to paint the Corteo Procession on the curtains. His design was influenced by the work of such painters as Willette, Picasso, Tiepolo, Pelez and Knight.
- The inspiration for the show’s curtains was an 1885 painting by Parisian artist Adolphe Willette.
- The two enormous baroque-style “Roll Drop” curtains (17.6 m wide and almost 12 m high), and the four sideways- opening Italian-style curtains are among the most striking scenic elements in the show. They were sewn in Canada and sent to France to be painted.
- It took more than two weeks to paint each of the central curtains with watercolours.
- The central curtains are attached to huge supports which contain winding motors to roll them.
In the centre of the circular stage is a labyrinth which precisely reproduces the proportions and size of the classic design on the aisle floor in Chartres Cathedral.
- The labyrinth incorporates a 20 cm Moebius strip painted at its centre as a symbol of infinity and continuity.