Who would have thought that relocating a cast of butterflies, crickets, spiders, ants, scarab beetles, fireflies, fleas, a ladybug and a blue fly would take a military-style international operation worthy of a Mission Impossible script?
But these are no ordinary insects. They are the stunning cast of the critically-acclaimed family-fun packed OVO by Cirque du Soleil, set to have its Australian premiere in Brisbane on July 14 under the blue-and-yellow Big Top before moving on to seasons in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne and Perth.
OVO finishes playing in Portland, Oregon, USA on May 20, this Sunday. Before the 12-month Australian tour can commence, the cast, crew, big top and its surrounding village must be transported all the way from Portland to Brisbane.
“The Australian tour is the first time OVO has traveled outside North America, and it’s a mammoth logistical operation, one which is planned and managed internationally by Cirque du Soleil’s Tour Logistics Department,” said OVO Production Operation Manager Derrin Brown.
The complex operational plan will ensure that the big top, sets and costumes – some 1200 tons of equipment - are pulled down, packed up and shipped to Australia in time for the first performance in Brisbane on Saturday 14 July.
“Transport of the equipment takes place over a two month period, which began in early May. Making co-ordination even more complicated is the fact that equipment for the Australian tour is originating from different countries – Canada, the UK and Germany, with the main portion coming from Portland in the United States. The Portland equipment will sail to Australia out of the Port of Seattle,” said Brown.
“Approximately 78 containers will be transported, with all equipment travelling by boat.
“To ensure Australian Quarantine and Inspection Services requirements are fully met, all the equipment – down to the ‘nails’ that hold the tents down - must be washed before being placed in the containers.
“It’s a huge operation, but all equipment should be safe and sound in Brisbane by early July.”
Then there’s the cast and crew. Over 60 bicycles and 410 suitcases will be transported to help make Australia their home for the next year.
The cast of OVO features 54 performing artists from 16 countries specializing in many acrobatic acts. One highlight of the show is the stunning Flying Act in which a group of scarab beetles soar high above the stage, from both edges to the middle landing on a platform. This breathtaking act combines many circus disciplines: banquine, Russian swing and swinging chair.
Since its world premiere in 2009, OVO has visited more than 15 cities in Canada, United States and Mexico, delighting over 2 million spectators.
OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement.
Tickets for OVO are on sale now at cirquedusoleil.com/ovo.
Cirque du Soleil gratefully acknowledges the official sponsors of the OVO 2012-2013 Australian tour: Infiniti and American Express ®.
Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a major Québec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,300 artists from more than 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada.