Delirium (Cirque du Soleil)

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Stage DELIRIUM Antwerpen April2008.jpg
Delirium in Antwerp, Belgium
Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Touring arena show
Date of premiere January 26, 2006
Final show April 20, 2008
Creative team
Director of creation Gilles Ste-Croix, Carmen Ruest
Creators, directors, set designers, and multimedia directors Michel Lemieux, Victor Pilon
Musical director, recording producer, arrangements, sound effects designer Francis Collard
Choreographer Mia Michaels
Lyrics Robbie Dillon
Costume designer Michel Robidas
Lighting designer Alain Lortie
Adaptation, research, design of acrobatic language Catherine Archambault
Prop and set elements designer Anne-Ségun Poirier
Sound designer Yves Savoie
Make-up designer Nathalie Gagné
Hair designer Mario Huot
Associate producer, musical content Ian Tremblay
Artistic director Luc Tremblay
Original music composers Violaine Corradi, René Dupéré, Benoît Jutras
Other information
Preceded by Corteo (2005)
Succeeded by Love (2006)

Delirium was a touring multimedia stage show by Cirque du Soleil featuring live music, video projections, and performances by acrobats and other circus performers. The production featured remixes of existing Cirque du Soleil music. The show premiered on January 26, 2006 and had its final performance in London, England on April 20, 2008.[1]

Delirium was the first of Cirque du Soleil's productions designed to be presented in arenas outside Japan (first was Fascination in 1992, which was only presented in Japan); all the company's previous stage productions outside Japan had been toured with their own large, custom-built tent (referred to as the 'big top' or 'grand chapiteau') or were permanent shows performed in specially designed theatres. Delirium, as Cirque du Soleil's first significant experiment with arena venues, eventually helped pave the way for the company's subsequent show-by-show conversion of its older big top productions (e.g. Saltimbanco, Alegría, Quidam, Dralion, and Varekai) to a more cost-effective arena format.

Set and technical information[edit]

Delirium's stage was set up on the arena floor, bisecting it lengthwise. Its two-sided, raised stage allowed for an alley theater-style presentation: the audience sat on both sides of the stage, at times able to look over the central stage to see the spectators on the other side. This presented unique staging challenges in that the most important actions had to be visible to both sides of the audience. However, the show could also be presented as a proscenium show, with the seats on one side of the arena left empty. In this case, the stage was set up closer to the sideline opposite the occupied seats, opening up a portion of the arena floor for additional seating. Despite the extraordinary complexity and size of Delirium's stage, it could be assembled inside an arena in approximately nine hours.[2]

The ends of the stage were flanked by enormous projection screens, where real-time video footage from the stage performance was blended with prerecorded visuals. These end screens also served to block off a backstage area for the performers and technicians. Performers could enter the stage from behind the screens, from below (via several trap doors) and from above (via an elaborate system of motorized lifts). Two semi-transparent screens could slide out in front of the stage to turn both sides of the stage into a massive projection surface, roughly the equivalent in width of four IMAX screens.

Unlike most other Cirque du Soleil shows, where the musicians are situated to the sides or the far upstage area and are frequently hidden from view, Delirium's six musicians were often in plain view, and could be seen interacting with the other performers and various stage elements.


As the show's concept incorporated a contrast between stark urbanness and wild imagination, Michel Robidas (costume designer) drew inspiration from clothing from different eras, including the 1930s, 1960s, and 1970s, for the wanderers of the performance (i.e. the musicians), whereas bright colors and exuberance were emphasized for the acrobatic performers. For instance, a 25-meter "volcano dress" was made from 400 meters of blue organza and represented the sea; this dress incorporated small white and red lights. There were also purple or red and yellow whirling dervish robes, designed to look like tree roots, which started from the chest rather than the waist for a more dramatic effect.[3]


Much of the show's music was creatively adapted from the original scores of other Cirque du Soleil productions, but remixed with a tribal beat and lyrics added or rewritten. The Delirium soundtrack first became available for purchase on June 15, 2006 through the Cirque du Soleil Online Boutique.[4] It features the songs of the show, but not necessarily in the order in which they were performed.

  1. "Cold Flame" (inspired by "Oscillum" from Varekai)
  2. "Slipping Away" (inspired by "Ombra" from Dralion)
  3. "Someone" (inspired by "Patzivota" from Varekai)
  4. "Too High" (inspired by "Spiritual Spiral" from Dralion)
  5. "Walk on Water" (inspired by "A Tale" from La Nouba)
  6. "Alone" (inspired by "Querer" from Alegría)
  7. "Climb" (inspired by "Le Rêveur" from Varekai)
  8. "La Nova Alegría" (inspired by Alegría's title track.)
  9. "Lifeline" (inspired by "El Péndulo" from Varekai)
  10. "Bridge of Sorrow" (inspired by "Nostalgie" from O)
  11. "One Love" (inspired by "Pokinoï" from Saltimbanco)
  12. "Let Me Fall" remixed from Quidam
  13. "Time to Go" (inspired by "Mountain of Clothes" from Alegría: The Film)
  14. "Time Flies" (inspired by "Mer Noire" from O)
  15. "Sans Toi" (inspired by "Querer" from Alegría)

The lead vocalists on the CD are Dessy Di Lauro, Elie Haroun, Jacynthe Millette-Bilodeau and Juliana Sheffield.


A film version of Delirium was given a very limited theatrical release, only in theaters on October 15, 18, and 19, 2008, in the U.S. and Canada.


Delirium toured in arenas instead of under the grand chapiteau. This allowed it to play in many cities for much shorter periods of time.[5]

The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:  EU   Europe  NA   North America  SA   South and Central America  AP   Asia/Pacific  OC   Oceania

Arena tour[edit]


  1. ^ "Delirium's Final Curtain Call". The Fascination! Newsletter. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  2. ^ "James Mack Interview 2008". Chris High, freelance writer. Retrieved 2011-01-31. 
  3. ^ Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in Chinese, English, French, and Japanese). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 102–107. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8. 
  4. ^ "Cirque du Soleil: Delirium". Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  5. ^ "Delirium - Tour Schedule". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-10. 

External links[edit]