Ovo (Cirque du Soleil)

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Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Touring show
Date of premiere April 23, 2009
Location Touring
Creative team
Writer, director, and choreographer Deborah Colker
Creation director Chantal Tremblay
Set and props designer Gringo Cardia
Composer and musical director Berna Ceppas
Costume designer Liz Vandal
Lighting designer Eric Champoux
Artistic guides Guy Laliberté
Gilles Ste-Croix
Sound designer Jonathan Deans
Makeup designer Julie Bégin
Rigging and acrobatic equipment designer Fred Gérard
Acrobatic performance designer Phillipe Aubertin
Other information
Preceded by Criss Angel Believe (2008)
Succeeded by Banana Shpeel (2009)
Official website

Ovo is a touring circus production by Cirque du Soleil and premiered in Montréal, Canada, in 2009. Ovo's creator and director, Deborah Colker, took inspiration from the world of insects. The idea for Ovo was not to be about the acts, nor dancing, nor insects, but about movement.[1] The movement of life permeates the entire show with creatures flying, leaping, bounding, and crawling. Composer Berna Ceppas brought additional life to Ovo with a score inspired by the music of Brazil. Ovo means "egg" in portuguese and represents the underlying thread through the show. Graphically, inside the logo of Ovo, is an insect. The two O's represent the eyes and the V forms the nose.[2]


During late April 2011, Ovo had to cancel performances in Ohio due to flooding at Coney Island. The Ohio River began flooding due to heavy rains over the period of a few days. The team had been running pumps, adjusted parking, as well as the show's layout, but finally did have to cancel multiple performances (April 22 - May 1, 2011).[3][4][5][6]

Set and technical information[edit]

The stage and set for Ovo were designed by Gringo Cardio and utilize irregular shapes throughout. The rear wall is 19 metres (62 ft) wide by 8 metres (26 ft) high and is only supported at the sides, thus allowing the trampolines for the final act to slide into place. Inset in the wall are 24 "firefly eggs"; these are moulded fibreglass bulbs fitted with LED bulbs which can produce a full color spectrum of light. The "membranes" seen throughout the performance are quite large in scale, the largest being 24 metres (79 ft) wide by 17 metres (56 ft) high. The egg seen at the beginning of the show is inflated to the size of 8.5 metres (28 ft) wide by 7 metres (23 ft) high.[1]

Ovo has the largest flying act yet undertaken by Cirque du Soleil, as of 2010. To support the act there are 80 cables which have to be installed during the performance; this requires the assistance of upwards of 40 performers and technicians. The trapeze net itself is 3 metres (9.8 ft) off the ground and spans 30 metres (98 ft) in length and 15 metres (49 ft) in width.[1]


Many characters are seen throughout Ovo, three of which are the main characters. The cast of Ovo, as of its premiere, included 54 performing artists from 16 different countries.[7]

  • Master Flipo: The principal character, Master Flipo, keeps everything in this chaotic world in order.
  • Foreigner: The Foreigner, another principal character, is a fly from a far-away land who brings with him the mysterious ovo.
  • Ladybug: The Ladybug is the third principal who brings life and joy to the world of insects, and also ends up falling for the Foreigner.
  • Dragonfly: The dragonfly flits throughout the entire performance and performs the hand balancing act.
  • Spiders: Four spiders provide mystery and caution throughout the show. Their acts include contortion and slackwire.
  • Fleas: Five spry fleas jump about with flashes of red and yellow as they perform acrosport.
  • Ants: The ants carry kiwi and corn with them on their journey as they perform foot juggling.
  • Butterflies: The duo butterflies fly through the air in a Spanish web duo.
  • Firefly: The firefly flits about performing with diabolos.
  • Mosquito: The mosquito adds character to the performance while also being part of the powertrack, trampoline, and wall act.
  • Scarabs: The 12 strong scarabs fly through the air twisting and spinning in the flying trapeze act.
  • Crickets: The 10 crickets jump and leap about in green streaks as they do power track, trampoline, and wall.
  • Creatura: A mysterious Creatura brings life to the party with his dancing.
  • Cockroaches: The 9 cockroaches are seen singing and playing music throughout the entire performance.


Ovo has ten acrobatic-related acts, whereas the rest are dancing or supplemental to the storyline.[7]

  • Opening: The exciting and hectic world is portrayed by pounding samba music and bright lights, then a sudden calm, the bright lights change to warm natural light and the heavy samba is changed to a calming guitar song.
  • Hand balancing (Dragonfly): A lone dragonfly balances precariously on a high, rotating block.
  • Foot juggling and Icarian games (Ants): A group of ants juggle kiwis, corn, eggplant slices as well as other ants, all on their feet.
  • Spanish web duo (Butterflies): Two butterflies swing and twist on a long vertical rope.
  • Diabolos (Firefly): A firefly manipulates and tosses multiple diabolos at a time.
  • Creatura dancing (Creatura): A comic routine involving a giant suit that resembles multiple slinkys.
  • Flying trapeze (Scarabs): Using trapeze and banquine, this act is very unique and very exciting.
  • Contortion (Spiders): One spider uses the same vertical rope as used by the butterflies to create multiple flexible poses, while another on the ground uses handstands to balance while her back and legs contort in multiple positions.
  • Acrosport (Fleas): A group of 5 male and female fleas use acrobatic gymnastic (acrosport) techniques to toss other fleas in the air as well as create high towers of fleas.
  • Slackwire (Spider): On a loose (and sometimes swinging) wire, a spider balances with their legs and hands, and at one point rides a unicycle.
  • "Legs": A unique dance, multiple legs pop up through holes in the stage.
  • Powertrack, Trampoline, Wall (Crickets): The crickets bounce on a long trampoline in the floor called a power track, they perform tumbling at an amazing speed. A trampoline is also used by the crickets to jump onto the wall, on the wall the leap of and land on the trampoline.
  • Banquete: The finale of the show.

There has been many audience complaints on Ovo's review page due to removal of Acts such as: Flying Act, Slackwire, Trampoline and Spanish Web Duo. It is said that they have been cancelled due to hot temperatures. Some shows, such as the Jan 4 shows have been cancelled.


Liz Vandal costumes at OVO

The costumes of Ovo were designed by Liz Vandal and evoke the appearance of insects.[8] The costumes were created to have areas that appear as sections to replicate the segmented bodies of insects; this was achieved by using permanent pleating, varying finishes, and coloring methods. To also provide the illusion of exoskeletons, a mixture of fabrics were used to create both hard and soft flexible fabrics, thus providing the look of a hard shell without inhibiting the artists' movements.[9]

The crickets have detachable legs, which are removed for the powertrack act, to give the sense of an insect with six legs. The legs also provide the illusion the cricket is oversized, aiding the spectator's illusion of being the size of an insect in this world.[9]

Due to the rigidity of some of the costumes, most characters have two versions of their costume. The first is more lightweight and functional for their acrobatic performance. The second, on the other hand, is more richly detailed and heavier, and worn while not performing their act.[2]


The show's musical influences stem primarily from Brazilian genres such as samba; both the creator and music director are Brazilian. Additional texture is added by the use of sounds of insects throughout the soundtrack.

Below is a list of the tracks featured on the CD, which was released on April 13, 2010.[10]

  1. Brisa Do Mar (Pre-show and opening)
  2. Foreigner (Cricket dance)
  3. Ants (Foot juggling and Icarian games)
  4. Cocoon (Interlude into Spanish Web Duo)
  5. Frevo Zumbido (Diabolos)
  6. Orvalho (Handbalancing)
  7. Carimbo da Creatura (Creatura dancing)
  8. Love Duet (Spanish web duo)
  9. Scarabee (Flying trapeze)
  10. Sexy Web (Contortion)
  11. Legs (Interlude into Power Track, Trampoline, and Wall)
  12. Flea Girls (Acrosport)
  13. Super Hero (Slackwire)
  14. Secret Samba Luv (Clown Act)
  15. Parede (Power track, trampoline, wall)
  16. Banquete (Banquet and Bows)
Further information: Cirque du Soleil discography


  • Marie-Claude Marchand - From April 23, 2009 (Montreal) to June 27, 2014 (Tokyo)
  • Alexandra Cabanilla - From June 28, 2014 (Tokyo) to present


Ovo started touring in April 2009 in Montréal, Canada.[11][12] They performed their 1000th show on January 29, 2012, while in Santa Monica, California.[13][14]

The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:   NA   North America   OC   Oceania   AP   Asia/Pacific

Grand Chapiteau tour[edit]

2009 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Montréal, QC - From 23 Apr 2009 to 19 Jul 2009 (show première)
  •   NA   Québec, QC - From 30 Jul 2009 to 23 Aug 2009
  •   NA   Toronto, ON - From 3 Sep 2009 to 1 Nov 2009
  •   NA   San Francisco, CA - From 27 Nov 2009 to 24 Jan 2010

2010 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   San Jose, CA - From 4 Feb 2010 to 21 Mar 2010
  •   NA   New York, NY - From 9 Apr 2010 to 6 Jun 2010
  •   NA   Hartford, CT - From 17 Jun 2010 to 11 Jul 2010
  •   NA   Boston, MA - From 22 Jul 2010 to 29 Aug 2010
  •   NA   Washington, DC - From 9 Sep 2010 to 24 Oct 2010
  •   NA   Atlanta, GA - From 4 Nov 2010 to 2 Jan 2011

2011 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Dallas, TX - From 28 Jan 2011 to 27 Feb 2011
  •   NA   Houston, TX - From 10 Mar 2011 to 10 April 2011
  •   NA   Cincinnati, OH - From 21 Apr 2011 to 15 May 2011
  •   NA   Minneapolis, MN - From 26 May 2011 to 19 Jun 2011
  •   NA   Chicago, IL - From 29 Jun 2011 to 21 Aug 2011
  •   NA   Calgary, AB - From 7 Sep 2011 to 9 Oct 2011
  •   NA   Mexico City, MX - From 30 Oct 2011 to 1 Jan 2012

2012 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Santa Monica, CA - From 20 Jan 2012 to 25 Mar 2012
  •   NA   Portland, OR - From 5 Apr 2012 to 20 May 2012
  •   OC   Brisbane, AU - From 14 Jul 2012 to 2 Sep 2012
  •   OC   Sydney, AU - From 13 Sep 2012 to 25 Nov 2012
  •   OC   Adelaide, AU - From 6 Dec 2012 to 6 Jan 2013

2013 schedule[edit]

  •   OC   Melbourne, AU - From 17 Jan 2013 to 31 Mar 2013
  •   OC   Perth, AU - From 14 Apr 2013 to 16 June 2013
  •   AP   Taipei, TW - From 19 Nov 2013 to 5 Jan 2014

2014 schedule[edit]

  •   AP   Tokyo, JP - From 12 Feb 2014 to 29 Jun 2014
  •   AP   Osaka, JP - From 17 Jul 2014 to 2 Nov 2014
  •   AP   Nagoya, JP - From 20 Nov 2014 to 1 Feb 2015

2015 schedule[edit]

  •   AP   Fukuoka, JP -From 20 Feb 2015 to 5 Apr 2015
  •   AP   Sendai, JP - From 23 Apr 2015 to 7 Jun 2015


  1. ^ a b c Cirque du Soleil (2010). Ovo Souvenir Program (in English and French). upc: 4 00005 11037 5. 
  2. ^ a b "Ovo Press Kit" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Kit). Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Due to ongoing weather conditions". Cirque du Soleil. 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2011-04-29. 
  4. ^ "Ovo in Cincinnati, OH". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  5. ^ "Cirque du Soleil Cancels More Shows". WLWT-TV. 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2011-04-25. 
  6. ^ "Cirque du Soleil cancels performances until May 1". WXIX-FOX19. 2011-04-26. Retrieved 2011-04-26. 
  7. ^ a b "Ovo: Acts and Characters" (PDF). Cirque du Soleil (Press Kit). Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  8. ^ "Ovo - Costumes". Cirque du Soleil (Press Materials). Retrieved 2011-03-29. 
  9. ^ a b Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in CN, English, French, and JP). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 138–143. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8. 
  10. ^ "Music of OVO". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-02-04. 
  11. ^ "Ovo Tickets". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-04-22. 
  12. ^ "Ovo (Tour Schedule)". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  13. ^ "Ovo - Cirque du Soleil". Ovo. Cirque du Soleil. January 29, 2012. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ Emilie Nadeau (January 29, 2012). "OVO celebrates its 1000th performance today - Sunday, January 29! Congrats to all the cast & crew!". Cirque du Soleil PR. Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved February 8, 2012. 

External links[edit]