Performers divulge their secrets to a small group of devotees at last year’s Cirque Week.
Twenty years after the sensuous Mystère made her debut at Treasure Island, Cirque du Soleil and Sin City have become all but inseparable. The production was launched at the start of a period of serious change along the Strip, yet today the lights go up on no fewer than eight Cirque shows most evenings, bringing Las Vegas some of the world’s most memorable live entertainment.
And now Vegas visitors and locals will get their own turn to take the stage. From November 9 to 16, Cirque raises the curtain on its fourth annual Cirque Week, an interactive event that draws fans from around the world who want a closer look at the action. “We wanted to give our guests an opportunity to feel like they’re part of the show,” says Jordan Fiksenbaum, Cirque’s vice president of marketing and PR for resident shows, “to feel like they’re getting behind the story, behind the productions themselves. They get to meet the creative teams; they have an opportunity to ask questions, to really be engaged, to feel like they own it. It’s good for the fans, but it’s good for us, too—it gives us great feedback.”
Launched in 2010, Cirque Week has steadily expanded to include more interactive events than ever this year, all taking place in the shows’ theaters or somewhere nearby. You can sign up for juggling classes with the cast of Zarkana, perfect your moonwalk with a choreography lesson on the stage of the new Michael Jackson ONE, or attend a workshop led by Katy Tate, dance master of The Beatles LOVE.
LOVE’s psychedelic VW Beetle.
“We’re always trying to do something new,” says Fiksenbaum, “because we know people go back year after year. Not only for our fans but for ourselves— we want to challenge ourselves creatively.”
Sometimes that means experimenting on Cirque Week participants. Last year, for example, acrobats from Mystère took the opportunity to try out some new stunts.
“We were enthusiastic about showing tricks we couldn’t fit in the act,” says Kent Caldwell, a Chinese-pole specialist with the show. “It was exciting to show them, and they were excited to see them. It gave us affirmation that what we were doing was solid and encouraged us to keep the act strong.”
Treasure Island is the host hotel for this year’s Cirque Week. Ticket packages offering access to behind-the-scenes events range from $100 to $585. Event capacities are limited; all registration must be done in advance. Book tickets at MGM Resorts International box offices, by calling 866-998-4831, or at cirquedusoleil.com/cirqueweek.