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Aerial Straps Duo
Shadows &

Kikiri (Icarian)
Movie Set
Trapeze & Brooms
Trampoline (Roofs)
Aerial Ball

Hand to Hand
Hand Balancing




Vocalists & Songs

  Best known for scoring music for television and movies (The Simpsons and Desperate Housewives and many of Tim Burton’s films including Alice in Wonderland) and having earned numerous honors, Elfman joins Cirque du Soleil for the first time.
Danny Elfman's music for IRIS is primarily orchestral, combining large and small ensembles throughout the show. Its melodies contain references to many genres of film. The choice of the orchestral approach reflects the fact that over 95% of film music since the 1930s has been scored for full orchestras, and this imparts to the Cirque du Soleil show a sonic connection between circus and film, via strings, brass, harps, flutes, clarinets, bassoons and so on, as opposed to the sounds of a jazz or rock ensemble. Supporting the show’s kaleidoscope of movement, moods and images, Danny Elfman evokes the language of film music, magnifying the emotions of this surrealistic tribute of the seventh art, cinema.

But here's an interesting question: Did IRIS's acts exist before Elfman wrote any music, or did the music exist before the acts? "It was both," he admitted in an intereview with the LA Times. "I'd written quite a bit of music before there were any acts to see. By the time they started rehearsals, Philippe was already applying my pieces to some of the acts. Then, when I started going to rehearsals in Montreal, I got an idea about how I'd need to change my music for the requirements of the different performers. Take the piece I'd composed for the Atherton twins, who fly over the audience at the very beginning of the show. It's an amazing act, yet my music didn’t have the right vibe for them. But it turned out the trapeze artists really enjoyed that music, so I took the piece I’d originally written for the twins and reapplied it for the trapeze, all while starting from scratch for the Athertons. The piece I'd written for them was too delicate, especially because what they were doing was more masculine. So their music needed a different kind of a feel with a little more of a beat. I was constantly reinventing my score like that, greatly elaborating on the music and redesigning it for the artists when I began to learn what their needs were."

[ VocalistsSongs ]

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  • Elin Carlson (pre-recorded track) — (Jul.21.2011 - Jan.19.2013)
  • Danny Elfman (pre-recorded track) — (Jul.21.2011 - Jan.19.2013)

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    Main Show

    Opening Buster's Big Opening
    Aerial Straps Duo The Twins
    Shadows & Contortion Snake Women
    Filmstrip Pellicule Part I and II
    Kikiri (Icarian Games) Kiriki Film, Kiriki
    Movie Set Movie Studio
    Trapeze & Brooms The Broom, Flying Scarlett, Old Toys
    Trampoline (Rooftops) Film Noir, Pursuit
    Aerial Ball (Bungees) IRIS Finale and Bows

    Other Songs

    Hand-to-Hand (2011-2012) Paterns
    Hand Balancing (2011-2012) Scarlett Balancing
Cirque Corner