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L.A. Beat

It’s a bug’s life as Cirque du Soleil brings OVO to Lethbridge this weekend

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The Enmax Centre is abuzz— it‘s a virtual hive activity as renown Quebec based circus Cirque Du Soleil gets ready to bring OVO to the Enmax Centre, May 27- 29.


 It is a real beehive at the Enmax Centre as the 100  cast  (52 performers and 48 crew) and support staff plus an additional 100  local people  hired to help get the Enmax Centre ready are bustling around like— well ants in an anthill to get ready for Friday”s premiere— the first date on their Cross-Canada tour and the first since Covid forced a two month break in  the tour.


Corentin LeMaitre-Auger takes a quick breather during rehearsals  for Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO. Photo by Richard Amery

Montreal aerial artists Maxime Charron and Corentin Lemaitre-Auger are rehearsing on the trapeze. The duo, who just graduated from circus school will be dressed up as colourful fleas for the show.


“Our circus school is right across from Cirque du Soleil, so we dreamed of one day joining them. And when we joined they offered us contracts for a year. We were the only graduates to get contracts,” said Charron, who met his partner Lemaitre-Auger at circus school and developed their act together.


 “He’s bigger than I am and I just like to fly,” Charron continued.


“ It’s super fun to be part of Cirque Du Soleil,” LeMaitre Auger said.


“ We had the act before we joined and had to adjust it a little with the artistic director for OVO,” he continued.


Janie Mallet shows off cricket costumes for Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO. Photo by Richard Amery

“ We like to push the boundaries of aerial performance,” he continued.


“Who else get paid to travel and perform and see the world,” Charron enthused.


 The duo joined Cirque Du Soleil on Feb. 11, for a month long residency in Los Angeles for a month before shutting down the hive because of Covid.


The cast and crew scurry all over the Enmax getting things ready for opening night. 


Everyone knows their role, everything is expertly organized, but backstage there is time for laughs, jokes, hugs and stories about how everybody’s break was and even stories about individual bouts with Covid.


 Everybody is excited for OVA take off again with the first shows landing in Lethbridge.

“It’s about bugs who discover this giant egg, well, it’s giant to us, because we’re bugs. But they learn about the egg and adapt to its presence. It a lot of fun. It’s very colourful,” Lemaitre-Auger summarized.

 While their act is their main part of the show, their characters appear throughout the show as the bugs learn to live with “OVO”


Corentin LeMaitre-Auger and Maxime Charron rehearse for Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO. Photo by Richard Amery

Backstage,  the crickets, aka tumblers and trampolinists are getting warmed up on a full set backstage.


“They will be warming up here during the show as well,” said senior publicist Janie Mallet. 


The Enmax dressing rooms are now full of colourful costumes for 10 different acts including aerialists, contortionists ,jugglers aerial ropists, trampolinists, tumblers, a live band who will be dressed as cockroaches and Russian Cradle act which is  similar to trapeze but without an actual trapeze.


“ It‘s all their bodies,”  Mallet said. 


Three clowns, the Voyageur, the Ladybug and Master Flipp will guide the audience through the world of OVO (which means egg in Portuguese.)


 The  performers and crew come from all over the world.


The show is approximately two hours and 15 minutes long including an intermission.


“ It’s a family friendly show,” said senior publicist Janie Mallet, noting while the semis have been parked outside of the Enmax centre for a couple weeks, the cast and crew just started building the stage and started rehearsing again for OVO after a two month break.


“ Everything is so organized. Four of the trucks will have gone to the next show before the last show here ends,” Mallet said.

“ All of the costumes are custom made. We measure and even scan the heads of the cast,” she continued.

Corentin LeMaitre-Auger and Maxime Charron rehearse for Cirque Du Soleil’s OVO. Photo by Richard Amery


The costumes are cleaned after every show so they have their own washer and dryer sets.

Workers wheel banks full of these colourful costumes past a huge video screen which will provide a live feed of the action on stage so the acts can follow along and keep track of their cues.


Cirque Du Soleil have been performing OVO since 2009.

 Mallet noted they have performed in tents and  started performing in arenas in 2016. Ova has evolved and metamorphosed  as performers have moved on or dropped out for a variety  of reasons. Some of the performers have been with it since the beginning.

 The backdrop for the show is the same wall used during “Dralion,” the last Cirque Du Soleil show to visit the Enmax  in December 2014.“ That’s what happened to us. One of the acts couldn’t do it, so they hired us,” said Charron.


 “ We’re excited to perform in Canada. We’ve never been to Western Canada before. There are our people,” Charron enthused.


Cirque Du Soleil’s family show Ova is at the Enmax Centre, May 27-29. The Friday show is at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $58-$169 for adults; $48-$112 for children age 6-12 or family packs for $64-$118.50. The Saturday shows are $3:30 p.m.. and 7:30 p.m. and the Sunday shows are 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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