Behind the Scenes Tours

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Z3D
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Behind the Scenes Tours

One step ahead of you Tom ;)

Trying to keep the Luzia discussion for Luzia.

Who were the 4 cast members by the way? Do you reckon you actually benefited from going backstage, or were they just telling you stuff you already knew?

Honestly, I could never justify paying that much to go BTS (maybe a Dragone show like "O"). Just trying to think logically like Rowelle, for that price I could see the show 3 times with decent seats.

I would only pay to go on a tour of the IHQ to be honest.

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Visiting backstage on a touring show honestly isn't anything special. + the Artistic tent is so freaking tiny!

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I think once you do it - on any of the shows - you've pretty much done it. The setup on big top tours is virtually the same. And there's nothing to see on arena shows. But it can be interesting for those who've never done it, especially if you get to tour the entire site.

Besides, it is quite a thrill to stand among the "trees" on Varekai's stage after a show. Or see under Quidam's stage. Or to look down the line on Corteo's... it's all in what you're interested in!

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I was saving to partake in the backstage experience La Nouba offers but, of course, life decided to pop in and say "Hey, how you doing?"

"All your dreams can come true. IF you have to courage to pursue them."-Walt Disney

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How about those Las Vegas Week things? Do they do those every year? Are they worth it?

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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Well apparently visiting the O and KA backstage is really worth it.

Z3D
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What's exactly backstage at resident shows? How does it differ from the artistic tent?

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There's much more technical stuff to see. In the O tour you get to see under the pool and how it all works.

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Ive been backstage almost a dozen times now. Some shows multiple times. I was always given private tours, even though I work for Cirque, I dont automatically get granted back stage access. Ive done things that most of the tours wouldnt get access to so for me the tours were great.

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I did the "O" backstage tour in 2011. It's a guided tour of a small group that gets you into wardrobe department, below the pool (so you can see the lifts and divers area), behind the pool (where they keep the big props, like the floating house), high up in the air to the telepherique where the riggers are working, etc. and you'll hear lots of information about how the show is done. You'll see props and costumes, too, and when you're lucky, artists during training. I enjoyed it a lot and I can really recommend it for "O" fans. The seats in the house that you get with the tickets are some of the best available. I sat in section 103, row J.

I've seen "O" before several times, so I don't know if it's a good experience for someone who hasn't seen the show yet. Unfortunately, the backstage tour is on the same day as the show that you have tickets for, just earlier, so keep that in mind.

I also went backstage at Mystère and KÀ. Both tours are highly recommended as well.

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The few times I went backstage for Quidam in the big top it was just a tour from my friend but he had the usual shpeel pretty well memorized about statistics of costume making, logistics of transport, etc. The artistic tent really is surprisingly small. I'm sure its bigger but its partitioned off by curtains into the changing and wardrobe sections so the main training and lounge space feels tiny. Through a side door is a secondary little tent where all the washing machines and artist showers and bathrooms are. I was mainly interested in seeing artists training and I got to go behind the bandpit and see under the stage. Mostly its just a wall of dials and blinking lights that control all the sound, but its cool to see the props like the german wheel, aviator wings, balloons, etc off stage.

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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Colton, I'm jealous you have a friend who works on the show! What did they do?

Cirque Shows Seen: Alegria, Amaluna, Kooza, Kurios (3), Luzia (2), Michael Jackson: Immortal, Quidam, Varekai

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They're all still on cast and crew so I want to respect their anonymity ;p. My greatest treasure besides those backstage visitor stickers is a tiny canvas patch of the chapiteau material used to cover small holes and tears that I found fallen off on the ground :-----)

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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Thats cool, I know the feeling of your "treasure". I myself have a wallet, and 2 bags (beach bag, and messenger bag) made from a retired Chapiteau. It's a guilty pleasure I have. I try to limit their usage as I want them to last!

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Thats cool, I know the feeling of your "treasure". I myself have a wallet, and 2 bags (beach bag, and messenger bag) made from a retired Chapiteau. It's a guilty pleasure I have. I try to limit their usage as I want them to last!

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Ok, so in terms of GC shows, recently there had been HEAPS of footage about the artistic tent (eg for interviews of totem, almost all were done inside the backstage area) which took some of te magic out of it since I'm already familiar with how it looks. If you've been to one, the rest are pretty much the same, especially since the tent is reused for different shows. I learned a lot by asking questions I wanted answers and the guide was really impressed because usually ally stupid questions like "Why is the show called TOTEM?" are too frequent and so if you don't ask, they will answer the non-cirque-fan questions. I loved seeing sound check though and seeig the props up close, however you never see the artist view from te stage or the makeup area. Seeing the kitchen area and costuming was cool though. On my tour, Sarah and Guilhem from still trapeze and a flyer/thrower from Russian bars came out. S&G were really cool but the other two had the traditional Russian raising which made them less interesting to talk to.

O on the other hand is definitely worth it. The extra tour is much cheaper than GC ones and the backstage area is much less documented and very different to any other show. I definitely recommend it.

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Despite the added cost, I recommend only going on a backstage tour of a show you loved, if you haven't seen it and it turns out you don't like it the tour becames a lot less personal and interesting. Maybe save up for a show you like and only go on it's backstage tour.

Z3D
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Tom, that's what I plan to do with O. Personally even a backstage tour of Kooza wouldn't interest me. If say Quidam were in the GC I would be running in before they opened the doors.

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I'd love the see the KOOZA set from backstage. That huge cloth of whatever, ahhhhhh love it and I want to see the backstage area with all the props, the videos aren't enough.

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I've been backstage at several shows, but my best experience has been to be able to sit backstage while the show is happening. To see the environment backstage during a show is pretty awesome. I got to do it for Saltimbanco, Varekai and Kooza. That's something I would totally pay for, if it was offered. I can see how some people wouldn't be into that, though.

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I would love to see that, all the rushing, cues, costume changes. I would die to see that.

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That's what I was hoping for but that ISNT offered in the tour so don't get the wrong idea. You see them prep the stage from the audience section (not from backstage) and the tour is only before and after (not during) the show itself. Also in terms of props you briefly walk past them but nothing is shown in much detail and some aren't pointed out at all so keep your eyes peeled the whole time. I would dies to see the cues (I really want to be a general stage manager at cirque one day) but unfortunately u can't see them.