Cirque du Soleil and MGM Mirage are teaming up to bring two new projects to Las Vegas. The first of the shows currently being developed will premiere at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in 2003. The next would begin in 2004 at the MGM Grand.
Cirque du Soleil currently has eight shows running worldwide: Varekai, Dralion, Quidam and Alegría are touring North America; Saltimbanco is touring Europe, La Nouba, plays at Walt Disney World in Orlando; and Mystère and O run at Treasure Island and the Bellagio, respectively, in Las Vegas.
The two companies have previously joined to present the still-running Mystère in 1993 and the aquatic O in 1998. MGM Mirage Chairman and CEO J. Terrence Lanni stated in a release, "This partnership is built on the mutual success achieved by our two businesses throughout the past decade." He added, "Now we want to work together to explore new areas in which they can continue to cultivate their unique creativity not only in Las Vegas but throughout our projects in the U.S. and around the world."
The first project at New York-New York will play at the theatre which will be rebuilt to house the show in 2003. French director Philippe Decouflé and director of creation Andrew Watson will head up the new work which will be a "sensual, exotic and provocative blend of dance, humor and acrobatics," as a release explains. Decouflé, a dancer-choreographer-filmmaker, staged the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympic Games in Albertville, France. Watson has been with Cirque du Soleil since 1987 as an acrobat, trapeze artist, director of casting and training, artistic coordinator and artistic director. He also served as director of creation for Varekai.
The 2004 project set for the MGM Grand boasts director Robert Lepage and director of creation Guy Caron. Lepage is a prominent player in Canadian theatre. Caron founded the National Circus School and headed it for 10 years. His work with Cirque du Soleil began in 1984 as artistic director, a creator and a comedian. He directed Cirque du Soleil's Dralion in 1999. For more information, visit Cirque du Soleil at www.cirquedusoleil.com.
— by Ernio Hernandez