After 2-yr Covid hiatus, Cirque du Soleil returns to London stage

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Two years after world-famous Cirque du Soleil’s breath-taking acrobatics spectacle Luzia was forced to drop the curtain due to Covid-19, the story is finally continuing this month with the dazzling and awe-inspiring show returning to London.

Nevertheless, the pandemic continues to make its presence felt. During the ongoing rehearsals in the British capital’s historic Royal Albert Hall, the flying acrobats and all the other performers are masked, hand sanitizer dispensers line the theatre’s corridors and social distancing remains a requirement.

“But now, we’re here… We are artists, we like to keep going. We don’t want to give up if something happens. It’s just not us,” Yan Li, a hoop diving artist from China, told Xinhua news agency before his long-awaited daily rehearsal.

The troupe returns to Europe to resume its touring productions after a two-year hiatus.

The pandemic forced its London home, the Royal Albert Hall, to shut its doors on March 17, 2020. In fact, it has been 25 years now since Cirque du Soleil first brought its captivating show to the Hall’s stage.

“All the artists and all the employees of the company are happy because we’re back live,” Li said.

Put it simply, Cirque du Soleil’s performers amaze their audience by defying physics and gravity. The artists fly through the air with effortless ease. Down on the ground, the contortionists’ and jugglers’ performance is equally jaw-dropping.

Unlike before the pandemic, Li said “we now have to wear our masks during the performance. However, for some of the acts we take them off because the masks could be dangerous when we jump. They might cover our eyes”.

“Before Covid-19, we used to go down to the audience to interact with them, but now we had to cancel that for safety reasons,” said the 33-year-old.

Luzia, a merger of the Spanish words “luz” (light) and “lluvia” (rain), takes the audience to an imaginary Mexico and a sumptuous world suspended between dreams and reality.

“The show is Mexican. If you have never been to Mexico and you come to the show, you will get some image of Mexico, the colours, the weather and the people there.”

Luzia runs from January 12 until February 27 at the Royal Albert Hall, which can seat up to 5,900 people.

Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, the Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group, established in Montreal, Canada, has reinvented circus arts and become a world leader in live entertainment.

It has already welcomed over 180 million spectators to its shows in 450 cities around the world.

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