From crazy trampoline stunts, to artists dangling only by their feet above stage, Cirque du Soleil brought their magic to Pinnacle Bank Arena in the Lincoln premiere of “Corteo” on Thursday, May 17, leaving the audience dazzled.
Debuting in 2005 as a big top show, “Corteo” is one of the several touring shows put on by Canadian company Cirque du Soleil. After ceasing performances in 2015, the show returned in March 2018 for a mind-blowing reworking of the original performance, held in an arena setting.
Unlike other Cirque du Soleil shows, “Corteo” used to be performed in a tent, which allowed the audience to experience the show from all sides. After reviving the show and making it compatible with arenas, show directors devised a double-sided stage, which allowed the stage to be in the center, and for the audience to see through to the crowd on the other side.
Made up of 51 cast members from 18 different countries, “Corteo” tells the story of a beloved clown, played by Mauro Mozzani, who recently passed away and is dreaming about the best moments of his life before he goes into the light. Throughout and after his funeral, the clown’s life is celebrated by his friends as they jump and flip on beds, swing from chandeliers and attempt to reenact Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.”
Kicking off the show — after the clown gave a voiceover and his death was shown — were three artists who swung from chandeliers as the clown stood below and looked up in wonder. The crowd instantly went wild. Though the chandeliers were definitely crowd-pleasers, they did not yield as much of an audience reaction as the following act did.
The second act seemed nothing more than a bunch of kids messing around and jumping on two beds, but actual little kids would never be able to pull off the stunts the artists did. Those artists — which included Alexandr Yudintsev, otherwise known as Sasha — would jump from the middle of the bed to land and balance on top of one of the bed posts, a trick that made the audience go insane. However, nothing beat the moment when Yudintsev flipped over the wide space between the two beds, which once again earned him a loud applause.
Other highlights of the show included a flying suspended pole act by artist Stephanie Ortega and an acrobatic balance ladder act performed by Slava Pereviazko.
But, by far, the crowd favorite of the night was when Mauro attached three large balloons to his Clowness Valentina (Valentina Paylevanyan) and launched her over the audience, only to request for the audience to send her back to the stage by pushing on the bottom of her feet. Hearing the delight, and Valentina’s requests to “push” had the audience members doubling over in laughter.
Though “Corteo” was filled with 16 amazing acts that ranged from a skit about golf, to juggling, to nerve-wracking acrobatic performances, the artists did not just amaze the audience with their jaw-dropping skills, but they also made the audience feel like part of the show.
Whether it was being able to see the audience on the other side, the constant audience interaction throughout the show, or the fact they personalized the show by calling out the Huskers and Omaha, “Corteo” made the audience feel like they were right on stage with the artists.
“Corteo” is showing at Pinnacle Bank Arena until Sunday, May 20 with two show times on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are still available to purchase online.