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  • Writer's picturePenny Neef

Beat The Winter Blues This Weekend – Cirque du Soleil Corteo

Words by Penny Neef. Images courtesy of Cirque du Soleil 2022. Photos by MajaPrgomet. Costumes by Dominique Lemieux.

It’s January, and even though the weather hasn’t been so bad here in Hampton Roads, the happy holidays are over, the sun is still setting before 5:30, and it is the dreariest time of the year. That makes it the perfect time to go see Cirque du Soleil Corteo, playing Thursday, January 26 through Sunday, January 29 for 5 shows at Scope Arena in Norfolk.

This will be the first time Corteo has been to Norfolk. Cirque du Soleil, the “largest contemporary circus producer in the world” has over 20 unique shows, both touring and in permanent residencies around the world. Corteo premiered under the Big Top in Montreal, home of Cirque du Soleil, in 2005. Since then, it has toured over 20 countries around the world, delighting more than 10 million people of all ages.

If you have never been to a Cirque du Soleil production, I’m sorry. You need to go. It is a unique experience, and each Cirque production is different. They are a combination of fantasy, acrobatics, dance, theatrics, and music unlike anything else. There is a dream-like quality. The audience feels like they’ve fallen down the rabbit hole to a different world. The performers come from around the world, from more than 40 countries. They do things right in front of your eyes that don’t appear to be possible, but you see the impossible.

Corteo means cortege in Italian. Mauro, the clown, at the center of Corteo, imagines his own funeral procession, but this cortege takes place somewhere between heaven and hell, ridiculous and tragic, small and huge, strength and fragility. Like all Cirque du Soleil productions, there are constant surprises. The music is “lyrical and playful carrying Corteo through a timeless celebration in which illusion becomes reality.”

What makes Corteo unique among Cirque du Soleil productions? It’s a Big Top or arena production, which means the performers will be using the very high space of the Scope. You’ll be looking up to watch Mauro and angels flying through the sky. The stage sits right in the middle of the arena, dividing the venue in half. Each half of the audience faces the other half “giving a unique perspective not only of the show, but a performer’s eye view of the audience.” The set is “grandiose” and poetic.

Cirque du Soleil's Corteo is a perfect way to beat the winter blues, and step into another world, even for just a few hours. I have seen four, maybe five, Cirque du Soleil productions. I always think they can never top themselves, but they always do. I can’t wait for this one.

For more information, and to purchase tickets to Cirque du Soleil's Corteo, go to

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