A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Cirque Du Soleil: OVO

On September 8, Cirque Du Soleil made its appearance in Denver at the Ball Arena with its traveling Cirque Du Soleil: OVO experience. Cirque Du Soleil, the legendary circus organization that is based in Montreal, Canada, brings the enchanting performance that ran from September 8 through September 11 for a short stop in the Mile High City.

Ovo, meaning egg in Portuguese, leads a sweet story of a colony of insects with creatures including crickets, scarabs, dragonflies, ants, spiders and a cute little ladybug. The wondrous experience takes the audience on a journey as the colony meets a new insect that carries on his back an ovo (or egg) with him, losing the egg to the colony, getting tricked and subsequently falling in love with the ladybug.

Photo by Adrienne Thomas

The traveling group is comprised of around 100 different people including Olympic and world champion athletes who tour with 20 semi-trucks to store the entire set, stage, props and everything you can else imagine. The crew also travels with a catering team, to keep all of the performers and staff fed during their tour schedule.

Within one day of arriving at the performance destination, the traveling group builds the entire stage, sets up training and starts prepping for the show that happens the very next day. The group carries everything from lighting, sound and a full costuming department and wardrobe shop to ensure that as they continue with each stop in the tour they will have everything they need to keep the show going.

They even travel with multiple washers and dryers to launder everyone’s clothes. And due to the constant movement of the tour, the wardrobe department focuses on continually repairing costumes for performers until the costumes can no longer be repaired – only then will the performer be given a new costume.

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Janie Mallet, the Senior Publicist of Cirque Du Soleil: OVO, stated, “That’s what it takes to bring on the show in Denver, a hundred people from 25 different nationalities. And that includes 52 artists that you’ll see on stage. So it’s really like half and half, it’s 52 artists on stage. And then 48 of us backstage with the staff like myself.”

Along with the 25 different nationalities that are accompanied on the tour, over 15 different languages are spoken within the group. However, English is used as the main language among the entire group, for ease of communication.

So what else can’t the audience see behind the stage? The wild inner workings of music, lighting and stage hands. A mesh screen that sits right behind the stage hides a whole section of instrumentalists and musicians that play live for each performance. The magic of the screen – the musicians can see the stage and acts happening before them, but the audience cannot see them. The screen also hides sound technicians, lighting technicians, rigging technicians and more integral staff who keep the show on track.

Cirque Du Soleil: OVO also records each of their performances. This allows them to keep up with their acts and to continually train and improve or change what the performers are doing. Every single day the cast is training for hours leading up to the actual performance. This keeps the cast in shape and prepped for each act, no matter the situation. 

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Dmytro Rybkin, a Ukrainian performer that acts as a scarab in the Russian Cradle act within the show, expressed this sentiment of continual training.

“I like this job because I have to get myself ready every time [for the show], you cannot be relaxed when you’re doing this and you have to be ready [for the act], the throw has to be very powerful. I have to be fit psychologically and physically and that is my favorite part,” said Rybkin.

For the event itself, the performer’s and staff’s efforts were spotlighted in the best ways possible.

On the opening night of Cirque Du Soleil: OVO the audience gasped as performers took on high-flying acts with scarabs, ethereal aerial moths, mindblowing flexible contortionist spiders and more. Each act entranced attendees with rhythmic music to lure them into the story as well as a bit of cheeky humor from an insect clown and the newcomer to the colony.

By the end of the two-hour show, attendees gave a well-deserved standing ovation for the stunning performances of the evening as the stage burst with bright confetti for a bang conclusion.

Tickets for the touring Cirque Du Soleil: OVO show can be purchased here.

Cirque Du Soleil: OVO played at the Ball Arena located at 1000 Chopper Cir., Denver. The tour is set to travel to El Paso, Texas next.

All photography by Adrienne Thomas.