[Cirque du Solei tent, before and after tent raising]
Cirque du Soleil arrived at the OC Fair Grounds last week and began to prepare for its production of KURIOS—Cabinet of Curiosities that opens Oct. 15 and runs through Nov. 29.
The first order of business: raise Cirque’s trademark blue and yellow big top tent. It took a team of 50 men and women several hours to pound 1,200 stakes four feet into the ground, hoist more than 100 support poles, unfurl the canvas, and finally raise the tent roof. [See photos below]
Facts about Cirque du Soleil:
- The site takes six days to set up and two days to tear down. This includes the installation of the Big Top, entrance and artistic tents, box office, administrative offices, and a kitchen and dining area for cast and crew.
- Approximately 65 trucks transport nearly 2,000 tons of equipment for KURIOS.
- The Big Top stands 62 feet high, is 168 feet in diameter and is supported by four masts, each 85 feet tall. It seats around 2,700 people.
- Flags posted at the Big Top entrance represent the 19 nationalities of the cast and crew.
- The stage is one of the lowest of all Cirque du Soleil big top shows. It is 24 inches high. This decision was made by director Michel Laprise so that the artists have a closer proximity to the public.
- This is the first time in Cirque du Soleil’s history that they have a welcoming act on top of the Big Top before the show starts. Weather permitting, three artists climb the Big Top and welcome guests on-site with live music. It is also the first time that some guests are selected to go backstage and cross the stage on a rope bridge before the show starts.
About KURIOS: In an alternate yet familiar past, in a place where wonders abound for those who trust their imagination, a Seeker discovers that in order to glimpse the marvels that lie just below the surface, we must first learn to close our eyes.
In his larger-than-life curio cabinet, the Seeker is convinced that there exists a hidden, invisible world – a place where the craziest ideas and the grandest dreams lie waiting. A collection of otherworldly characters suddenly steps into his makeshift mechanical world. When the outlandish, benevolent characters turn his world upside down with a touch of poetry and humor in an attempt to ignite the Seeker’s imagination, his curios jump to life one by one before his very eyes.
Tickets are $50 to $165 and can be purchased online at cirquedusoleil.com/kurios or by calling (877) 924-7783.
Photos by Christopher Trela