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Cirque du Soleil to present first show in Northern Nevada

Sally Roberts
sroberts@nevadaappeal.com

Cirque du Soleil – the original cirque that all others seek to emulate – is coming to Northern Nevada for the first time beginning Wednesday.

The Cirque production of Quidam shows Wednesday through May 8 at the Lawlor Events Center in Reno.

Quidam, pronounced “key-dam,” refers to the nameless passerbys, the nearly invisible people in our every day life.

The production tells the story of Zoe, a bored adolescent who is distant from her parents and apathetic about her life. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world – the world of Quidam – where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul. One in particular becomes her guide, a companion known as The Target.

“This quidam character just pops into their home, just appears,” said Georgia Stephenson, the assistant artistic director for the show. “We enter into this world of (Zoe’s) imagination.”

Stephenson has seen about a dozen of Cirque du Soleil’s various productions many times and is thrilled to be working on Quidam, her favorite.

“It’s amazing, it really is so lucky to have this job where part of my job is to sit and watch this show again and again and again,” she said. “I feel really lucky to do this for a living.”

Stephenson, who is based in Las Vegas, also appreciates the message of Quidam.

“The first part of the show, you see all the performers come on stage, all dressed in white suits. They all look the same,” she said. “As the show progresses, we learn they are these wonderful, unique, individual identities.”

Along with Zoe, the audience is encouraged to get to know the many nameless people who are part of their everyday lives.

Quidam had its world premiere in Montreal in 1996 and has since toured five continents playing to more than 10 million people. It features an international cast of more than 50 world-class acrobats, musicians, singers and characters. Music is performed live by six musicians.

Cirque du Soleil currently produces 20 different shows, all with their own stories and talents and atmosphere.

“When there’s a seed of a concept for a show, the company assemble a creative team to kind of run with that, to creative the concepts, the style of music, the visuals,” Stephenson said. “It’s up to that team to forge the way or each new show and make it entirely unique.

“Then we work with the creative team making sure the end product is in line with what the Cirque wants to put out – a high quality performance that touches the heart.”

Stephenson also helps the performers maintain their edge and the quality of the show, sitting in on the training, practices, and shows, and taking notes. All to ensure the choreography and movements stay fresh.

“I do my best to the keep the show alive for (the performers) who have to perform night after night after night.”

Stephenson is looking forward to the Northern Nevada shows because she has family in Reno who will be able to see Quidam.

“I’m so proud of it,” she said. “There’s something for everyone. You can come and appreciate the acrobatic skill, the logic-defying moves, the music, the emotional aspect of the show. It’s great for all ages, all types of people.”

Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam shows at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 3:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets range from $35-$80 adults; $28-65 children 12 and younger; $31.50-$67.50 for military, seniors and students. Premium tickets are also available. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/quidam or by calling (775) 784-4444.

ABOUT CIRQUE

Cirque du Soleil began as a group of 20 street performers in 1984 in Quebec, including founder Guy Laliberte. Today, the organization has 5,000 employees, including more than 1,200 artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has performed to more than 100 million spectators in 300 cities on five continents. It’s international headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit http://www.cirquedusoleil.com.