On October 3, 2014, Expo 2015 selected the Cirque du Soleil Special Events
team (45 DEGREES), to create an engaging and unique
show concept to be presented during the Universal Expo taking place in Milan,
Italy from May 1 to October 31, 2015. “The colorful artistic circus will
employ their graceful, acrobatic dancers to delve into the deep and complex
ties between food and human existence at the Expo’s request.”
The 2015 Universal Exposition’s theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life”
embraces culture, tradition, technology, innovation, nutrition, food security,
sustainable practices, and celebrating global cuisines. The Cirque du Soleil
event production will celebrate these elements through the creation of a
fascinating tale, interwoven with music and dance with the main inspiration
stemming from the deep union between Food and Life. ALLAVITA! is the evocative
title of this new exclusive production that will be presented during the Expo
and will include the participation of over 50 Italian and international artists.
|Premiere: ||May 3, 2015
|Type: ||Outdoor Show
|Finale: ||August 23, 2015
|Status: ||Special Event
[ Background •
The title ALLAVITA! refers to the awareness of the winds that nourish
us and the roots that bring our international family together. It is a
call to feed our lives with pleasure, spice and passion.“We are proud
of our choice of Cirque du Soleil to represent the universality of the
public that will attend Expo Milano 2015. As one of the most renowned
international companies of artistic performance, Cirque du Soleil
constantly wishes to evoke the unreal, to invoke the senses and provoke
the emotions in people from all over the world, using universal languages
enjoyed by all,” said Giuseppe Sala, Commissioner of the Government of
Italy for Expo Milano 2015 and CEO of Expo 2015 Company.
“We are extremely excited to bring Cirque du Soleil’s creativity to this
significant event for Italy and the world,” said Yasmine Khalil,
President, Events and Special Projects for The Cirque du Soleil Group.
“Allavita! will be a never-before-seen production that will reflect the
Expo Milano 2015 theme in an innovative, entertaining and thought-provoking
style.”Cirque du Soleil will collaborate with experts in Italy to create
Allavita!, which will include Italian performers who will attend invited
audition sessions in Milan. Specialty technical and logistical experts
from Italy will be a crucial part of the show’s production team and local
providers and suppliers will also assist in diverse areas. “The high-quality
expertise available in Italy will be a great benefit to the Cirque du Soleil
team,” added Khalil.
Allavita! will allow audiences to “discover the winds that sustain us, and
the roots that unite our international family.An invitation to nourish our
lives with pleasure, enthusiasm and passion,” said Yasmine Khalil, event
and special projects president for Cirque du Soleil.
“Allavita! will be a never before seen production that will re-propose the
Milan Expo 2015 theme in an innovative, entertaining and stimulating way”.
Combining theater, dance, clowning, and humor, Cirque du Soleil has
created an exciting and compelling event, suitable for all ages. ALLAVITA!
is keyed on the themes addressed by EXPO Milano 2015, featuring bread,
farming, sustainability, and the passage of time, as well as human history
and how it has been impacted by, and how it has impacted, the environment.
Thus it all begins with the actors handing out seeds to the audience. Then
the action moves back to the stage, where a young boy – Leonardo – is given
a magic Spelt seed by his grandmother. An imaginary friend – Farro – appears
to the boy, from inside the seed, and takes him on a magical journey filled
with wonder, courage, and hope, where they encounter hour-glasses, farmers,
foreign lands, and women who might be flowers, or vice-versa. All of this
is played out on a stage that is ablaze with color, resonating with music
and acrobats a-leaping, all designed to conjure the world’s myriad cultures.
The show is structured in 14 scenes and blends the marvels of contemporary
circus with theater, dance and clownery. All woven together and further
energized by original music, astonishing costumes, astounding make-up and
multimedia video and lighting effects.
Another element that defines the characters in ALLAVITA!, in addition to
the make-up explained to us by make-up designer Eve Monnier, is the costumes,
whose colors, shapes and fabrics project the characters to the public,
helping to characterize personalities and movements. We meet costume designer
Marie ChantaleVaillancourt, who takes us inside the wardrobe department of
ALLAVITA! Here – surrounded by costume designs, inspirational sketches, colors
and fabrics – she tells us how she works and how costumes and accessories
have lots of stories to tell.
Clothes and accessories inspired by food and nature reflect the Theme of
Expo Milano 2015.
“I’ve been involved right from the beginning – explains Marie Chantale
Vaillancourt – because we had to design costumes that would last all these
performances and that would be safe for the performers, so I had to know
what kinds of movements and acrobatics each character would be making. We had
to think firstly about safety and elasticity, and only afterwards about shape
and color. Each color is conceived for the tableaux which make up the show,
and here food has been the dominant inspiration: for example, various costumes
evoke the shapes and textures of certain vegetables”, she says, showing us her
inspirational book and an example of a costume suggesting a red cabbage. As
she leafs through her drawings she adds “For some of the hats I took ideas
from corn and bread, for others – like these, with long blue tails – I evoked
natural elements like water. There are roughly 124 complete costumes for this
show, and more than 500 accessories, from shoes to hats. I’m so excited about
our first night!”
What to do with a magic seed is the storyline of Allavita!, the exclusive
show of Canada’s Cirque du Soleil created for Expo Milano 2015 to celebrate
the nutrition for body and soul that nature offers to human beings.
Inspired by the theme of the Italian world exposition “Feeding the Planet,
Energy for Life,” the show debuted earlier this week. It will be held every
night from Wednesday to Sunday until Aug. 30 in the open theater of the Expo’s
site, northwest of Milan.
Allavita! (To life!)is about a young boy, Leo, who receives the gift of
a magic seed from his grandmother before she dies, and he does not know what
to do with it.A puppet,Farro, will guide Leo into a fantastic world in the
discovery of all what nature can offer in terms of nutrition, love and energy.
In fact Allavita! is a call to be aware of the roots that bring human beings
together and to feed the life with passion.
“I wanted to create a show that is fantastic in the universe of Cirque
du Soleil but also with a message,” Krista Monson, the writer and stage
director for Allavita!, told Xinhua in an interview shortly after the show’s
dress rehearsal held earlier this week.“We want 10,000 people to walk out
every night with 10,000 different interpretations,” she stressed.
“Some people may gain a profound sense as we are talking about the
history of the civilization of food, while the imagination and stage
technology coming together with human performance may have an impact on
others. This was my goal, to create something that all ages and nationalities
would appreciate from different levels,” Monson said.
The cast is composed of nearly 50 artists from different countries.
“I work here with Canadians, Italians, Russians, Americans, Australians,
Japanese, Spanish, Cubans … and the sand painter was Chinese, she spent two
weeks with us to create the illustrations for the show,” Giacomo Marcheschi,
an Italian performer who plays the protagonist role of Leo, told Xinhua.
“So it is a great challenge, but we are a beautiful group full of
collaboration spirit and energy,” Marcheschi, 28, added.
When you have a passion, you would dedicate all the time to it, which
is the reason why, at the end of the day, the two-year hard work to prepare
the show was only a pleasure, he pointed out.
In fact an international flavor has always characterized the Cirque
du Soleil in its constant evolution, Yasmine Khalil, the president of 45
Degrees, the event division of Cirque du Soleil, explained.