- Title: Cirque Du Soleil show goes on in China despite pandemic
- Date: 16th July 2020
- Summary: HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE, CHINA (RECENT - JULY 8, 2020) (REUTERS) ARTIST HE GUOWEI LYING ON GYM MAT VARIOUS OF ARTISTS TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ICARIAN ARTIST WORKING FOR CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SHOW "X THE LAND OF FANTASY", HE GUOWEI, SAYING: "Since we returned to work, we have kept training. We also made some adjustments to the performance because some of the foreign actors failed to come back. We needed to change some of our performance. It was pretty hard actually until the day we could re-perform, it was June 3? I cannot remember it very clearly. When we stepped on the stage again, we felt almost the same as when we made our debut last August. We were so excited. We made it after such a long time. The effort we made during this time was not in vain." VARIOUS OF ARTISTS TRAINING (SOUNDBITE) (Mandarin) ICARIAN ARTIST WORKING FOR CIRQUE DU SOLEIL SHOW "X THE LAND OF FANTASY", HE GUOWEI, SAYING: "Right now, I feel so good. I didn't see any difference compared with the situation before the epidemic. I think the attendance rate now is even higher than before. We have the seat sealed off between two seats. The epidemic is basically in control at this moment and everyone is still wearing masks when watching the performance. We feel safe and the audience feels safe. I think the reaction of the audience is more enthusiastic than before."
- Embargoed: 30th July 2020 02:02
- Keywords: COVID-19 China Chinese acrobats Cirque du Soleil Hangzhou acrobatics circus coronavirus
- Location: HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE, CHINA
- City: HANGZHOU, ZHEJIANG PROVINCE, CHINA
- Country: China
- Topics: Arts / Culture / Entertainment,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA002CN24LLL
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Artists, performing in China in the first Cirque du Soleil show to resume in the world since the coronavirus shut down productions, say they are excited to be back on stage.
"When we stepped on the stage again, we felt almost the same as when we made our debut last August. We were so excited. We made it after such a long time," said artist He Guowei, who specialises in human juggling, also known as Icarian performances.
The show, "X The Land of Fantasy", re-opened in the eastern city of Hangzhou on June 3. It is one of two shows in operation, with another show re-opening in Mexico in early July.
The re-openings come as Cirque has struggled with a bankruptcy filing, the cancellation of shows due to the pandemic and the temporary laying off of 95 percent of its workforce.
He said he was initially hired in the summer of 2019 by Cirque's local partner, Suntiandy, but was forced to train at home between January and May of this year when the show shut down.
The Hangzhou show had to modify some of its acts and bring in more local performers because some of the international performers could not return to China due to the travel ban.
American Caroline Huang managed to get back in time.
"So excited to finally debut the show again," she said.
The show is staging six performances a week, although there is a 50 percent cap on capacity in the audience, a move that He says has not put a damper on excitement.
"The reaction of the audience is more enthusiastic than before," he said.
Cirque has said its resident productions in Las Vegas and Orlando might re-open in the fall, but it does not expect to resume normal operations until 2023.
(Production: Xihao Jiang, Martin Pollard)
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