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‘Corteo’ Brings Dying Clown to Life

“Corteo” uses the tale of a dying clown to show off acrobatic midair stunts. Denis Sinyakov

Cirque du Soleil’s latest show “Corteo” debuted Saturday at the Luzhniki sports center in a spectacular performance that throws spectators into the world of miracle and fantasy of a clown’s imagination.

“It is like plunging into a fairy tale,” Yekaterina Kondratyeva, 35, an accountant, said after the show. “This is my first time to see Cirque du Soleil, but definitely not the last one.”

“Corteo,” which means cortege or funeral procession in Italian, was first performed by Cirque du Soleil five years ago. Its concept is of a dying — and then dead — clown imagining his own funeral where all the best circus performers come to perform: from an acrobat who swings from a chandelier to dancing tightrope walkers.

The show’s music is especially notable: It is not just a supplement to the performance, but an active participant. You can also spot references to Mozart and Verdi, whose melodies are skillfully whistled by one actor.

But a circus is a circus, and the performers marvel more — especially the tiny actor who is wafted away by balloons.

“I’ve never seen tricks like that before,” said one spectator, Dmitry Korchak, 40, a manager.

“The cutest was definitely the one with the balloon flying above the audience so everyone could give it a push.”

“Corteo” by Cirque du Soleil runs till Dec. 12. Luzhniki sports center, 24 Ulitsa Luzhniki. Metro Vorobyovy Gory.

Tel. 785-9716, www.cds.ru.

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