Ovo (Cirque du Soleil)

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Ovo Logo (Cirque du Soleil).png
Logo for Cirque du Soleil's Ovo
CompanyCirque du Soleil
GenreContemporary circus
Show typeTouring show
Date of premiereApril 23, 2009
Creative team
Writer, director, and choreographerDeborah Colker
Creation directorChantal Tremblay
Set and props designerGringo Cardia
Composer and musical directorBerna Ceppas
Costume designerLiz Vandal
Lighting designerEric Champoux
Artistic guidesGuy Laliberté
Gilles Ste-Croix
Sound designerJonathan Deans
Makeup designerJulie Bégin
Rigging and acrobatic equipment designerFred Gérard
Acrobatic performance designerPhillipe Aubertin
Other information
Preceded byCriss Angel Believe (2008)
Succeeded byBanana Shpeel (2009)
Official website

Ovo is a touring circus production by Cirque du Soleil that 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 and antennas.[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, and adjusting 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 Cardia 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. During its arena tour, Ovo used the stage from the classic cirque show, Dralion. 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: Three spry fleas jump about with flashes of red and yellow as they perform acro-trio.
  • 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 (2009-2015)/ Aerial Straps (2016- Present) 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 strong scarabs fly through the air twisting and spinning in the flying trapeze (2009-2015)/ Aerial Cradle (2016-Present) act.
  • Crickets: The 10 crickets jump and leap about in green streaks as they do air 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.
  • Foot juggling and Icarian games (Ants): A group of ants juggle kiwis, corn, eggplant slices as well as other ants, all on their feet.
  • Hand balancing (Dragonfly): A lone dragonfly balances precariously on a high, rotating block.
  • Tissue (Cocoon): Combining agility and grace this soon to be Butterfly performs a solo contortion on aerial silk showcasing her theatrical metamorphosis.
  • Duo straps (Butterflies): Two butterflies swing soar across the stage, strung on straps from the ceiling.
  • Creatura (Creatura): A comic routine involving a giant suit that resembles multiple slinkys.
  • Russian Cradle (Scarabs): Based on Corteo's "Paradise" act, three aerial cradles are spaced diagonally above the stage and fliers are thrown and caught in the arms of catchers in the cradles.
  • Web (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.
  • Diabolos (Firefly): A firefly manipulates and tosses multiple diabolos at a time.
  • Acro trio (Fleas): Two males performers use techniques similar to those in acrobatic gymnastic (acrosport) to toss a female performer in the air.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Acts in Rotation[edit]

  • Aerial hoop (Spiders): Two artists flies over the stage on a hoop suspended in the air in an energetic feat of acrobatics.

Retired acts[edit]

  • Volants (Scarabs): Using two trapezes on either side of the stage the scarabs are thrown onto a platform suspended above the centre of the stage where they are caught and thrown in a banquine style discipline. This act was replaced by aerial cradle during the arena conversion in 2015.
  • Spanish web duo (Butterflies): Two butterflies swing and twist on a long vertical rope. This act was replaced by aerial straps during the arena conversion in 2015.
  • 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. This act was replaced by aerial straps during the arena conversion in 2015.


Liz Vandal's costumes for 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 (Tissue)
  5. Frevo Zumbido (Diabolos)
  6. Orvalho (Hand Balancing)
  7. Carimbo da Creatura (Creatura)
  8. Love Duet
    • Spanish Web Duo (2009–2015)
    • Duo Straps (2016-present)
  9. Scarabee
    • Volants (2009–2015)
    • Russian Cradle (2016–present)
  10. Sexy Web (Web)
  11. Legs (Interlude into Wall)
  12. Flea Girls
    • Acrosport (2009-2015)
    • Acro trio (2016–present)
  13. Super Hero (Slackwire)
  14. Secret Samba Luv (Clown Act)
  15. Parede (Wall)
  16. Banquete (Banquet and Bows)


  • Marie-Claude Marchand - From April 23, 2009 (Montreal) to June 27, 2014 (Tokyo)
  • Alexandra Cabanilla - From June 28, 2014 (Tokyo) to June 7, 2015 (Sendai)
  • Júlia Tázie - From April 8, 2016 (Lake Charles) to Jan 20, 2019 (Murcia)
  • Lari Finocchiaro - From March 7, 2019 (Belo Horizonte)


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] Now that the Japanese run of Ovo has ended, it has been confirmed that the show will no longer perform under the Grand Chapiteau, instead it will be converted into the arena format for its remaining tours.

On April 8, 2016, OVO began re-premiered in the arena format in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Just one week later, on April 15, Cirque du Soleil announced the cancellation of OVO in both Greensboro and Charlotte, North Carolina citing the recent signing of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act by North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, the Company announced in a press release that "Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all."

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


  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 Chinese, English, French, and Japanese). 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]