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Aerial Hammock
Roller Skate
Lion Dance
Hand to Hand
Solo Aerial Straps
Fire Dance
Trampo / X-Board

Aerial Cube
Aerial Silks
Aerial Hoop

Poles on Globes
Rola Bola
Aerial Frame
Hoop Manipulation
Aerial Bamboo
Duo Dance
Duo Aerial Straps




Did You Know?
Évolution & Visuals

Milestone Date
Show Announced 05/02/2006
Name Announced 05/29/2008
Premiere 07/26/2008
Gala 08/28/2008
New Acts 09/01/2011
Closing Announcement 02/07/2012
Final Show 02/19/2012

On February 7, 2012, the Macau unit of Las Vegas Sands Corp. and Cirque du Soleil announced they were ending a 10-year contract after just three and a half years and closing ZAIA, underlining the difficulties faced trying to transform the Chinese gambling enclave of Macau into an entertainment destination to rival that of Las Vegas. As such, ZAIA - Cirque du Soleil's first permanent production to open in Asia - would have its final show on February 19th after several years of disappointing ticket sales, the companies said in a joint statement. Average occupancy at ZAIA in January was just 40%, according to a Cirque du Soleil representative, not enough to recoup the cost of day-to-day operations nor the $150 million plus price tag for creating the show and its custom-built theater. There is no denying that ZAIA had a tumultuous three and a half years, but we had hoped the show would be able to survive its initial troubles and slouch off any further misgivings about its quality. Unfortunately it will not get that chance and it, like ZED, is a great loss to the Cirque du Soleil repertoire.

[ ÉvolutionVisuals ]

The Birth of the Universe

    The first staging workshops took place from September 4th through 22nd in Montreal not long after the partnership was announced. The primary purpose for the workshops was to observe the potential of certain acrobatic performances, to bring new ideas to the table and offer the opportunity to ask questions regarding the new production. What was “cosmos” (the working title of the production) really all about? What was its inspiration? How will the environment be simulated? And will staging the show in China change Cirque du Soleil’s creative process? A round-table discussion helped answer these questions:

    “We follow Alice, the main character, as she journeys to other planets and meeting imaginary characters in an attempt to discover what is happening in places other than the Earth,” Neilson Vignola, Director of Creation offered in answer to the show’s story and theme. “Alice is a hymn to the Earth’s beauty, a beauty that we seem to appreciate less and less as we search elsewhere in the universe.” To represent the different planets that Alice will visit, a sphere 25 feet in diameter upon which scenes will be projected would move about the theater spectators. (How that would be accomplished had yet to be worked out at this stage, however.)

    “The fact that the show is being put on in Macau has in no way influenced the creative process,” Director Gilles Maheux confirmed. In fact, when he started working on the show, Cirque did not know where it would be presented. To Gilles Maheux (Director), "Ne tuons pas la beauté du monde", (Let's not kill the beauty of the world, lyrics from the song Hymne à la beauté du monde [Hymn to the Beauty of the World] by Luc Plamondon) is a phrase that truly sums up Macau 2008.

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