Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba from 71 Feet Above
Despite the sturdiness of a metal grate, a strip of black carpet outlining the way, and fellow bloggers standing atop it demonstrating its strength, I had little faith as I walked out and over more than 70 feet above Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba stage.
About an inch-thick metal grate stood between me and the stage below during a backstage tour as part of The Travel Bloggers Show in Orlando, Sept. 11, 2010. Before taking the leap of faith, our guide asked that all cell phones, pens, and anything else that could drop from our hands and onto the performers rehearsing below, stay behind.
Our guide, Geoffrey Devenney, who happens to be the show’s technical director, lead the way as I closely watched my step and avoided thinking how high we were. Exactly how high above the stage were we?
While it was pretty amazing watching La Nouba staff rehearse below (we think they were practicing ‘stage presence’), the view in front of me was pretty cool, too. If you have ever seen La Nouba, you’ll recall acrobats “flying” gracefully on red ribbons. Up here on the ninth floor is ground zero for those ribbons along with yellow straps used in case of an emergency.
As we wandered down to the sixth floor, we stopped off at the eighth floor and saw technical aspects of the show and learned it takes 1,700 light fixtures to make the show happen. The sixth floor is where the cool cats hang out. It’s where VIPs watch the show but it’s also central command because it houses the control room. La Nouba staffs about 200 employees which includes 67 show performers and 36 technicians. The stage manager is ultimately responsible for the show and that person ensures everyone’s doing their job to make it happen.
The tour included a walk behind the stage, brief walk on the stage and into the training room. Having seen the show (last November) it was fun seeing some of the props as bicycles, an over-sized baby buggy and giant “wheel”-like things humans roll around in.
Devenney said La Nouba is performed 478 times a year. What if someone gets hurt? As he explained it, this is comparable to a sport where every athlete eventually suffers an injury but pushes through. Since the acts are performed either as solo or a pair, the show will go on if someone is unable to perform. As the saying goes, the show must go on…
Additional Fun Things I Learned During the Tour
La Nouba is the third Cirque du Soleil residence shows meaning it has a permanent home at Downtown Disney in the big white tent. Mystère was the first, fining a home at Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, and “O” the second with its home at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, both in Las Vegas.
There are currently 23 Cirque du Soleil traveling and permanent shows worldwide.
La Nouba is the first Cirque du Soleil show performed in a freestanding venue. Tokyo’s show, ZED, is also performed in a freestanding venue.
There are 1,671 seats in the La Nouba venue in Downtown Disney.
While I didn’t have a chance to see the show in September I did see it last November so seeing how some of the magic happens was very cool. Check out my post, “Incredible La Nouba at Walt Disney Resort” for my experience. Unfortunately, this behind the scenes tour is typically not available to the public but you will still appreciate the show without seeing how some of the magic happens.
Discount Prices for Florida Residents
Are you a Florida resident? Be sure to see if discounted Florida resident discounts are available for La Nouba to save a little money.