A joyous procession parades into Star Center next month

Cirque du Soleil performers work on stage in “Corteo.” The production is coming to Santa Ana Star Center in April. Courtesy photo.

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — “Corteo,” one of Cirque du Soleil’s acrobatic productions, is coming to Santa Ana Star Center on April 11 to 14.

“Corteo,” meaning a joyous procession in Italian, follows the story of a clown who imagines his own funeral. This show, produced by Daniele Finzi Pasca, brings together musical and theatrical elements to excite audiences with a world of fun, comedy and spontaneity, according to Cirque du Soleil’s website.

Julie Dionne, an acrobat in the show, has worked in the circus business for 20 years and said she particularly enjoys “Corteo” because it has more of a human aspect to it, compared to other shows.

“I like that the show is very down-to-earth and human-like,” Dionne said. “It’s a very beautiful, poetic, theatrical piece. It’s also very interesting and funny.”

Dionne has worked on “Corteo” for many years, including when the show first started in 2004. She said the biggest challenges in her line of work are staying healthy and keeping her body in good shape.

“Being sick is challenging. When you are performing and spinning and hanging upside down, that is the most challenging,” she said. “The show must go on, though; that’s part of the saying. If I’m not there, others have more pressure put on them to put on the show.”

Performers and crew members working on Corteo carry on a lifestyle of being on the road all the time and traveling weekly for their career. However, Dionne said her job is very rewarding because she is able to bring joy to many people.

“Seeing the public’s reaction is most rewarding,” she said. “Getting to see the audience react to the show, and see their emotions, their approval — that is rewarding.”

“Corteo” is a show suitable for all audiences. Since the show has started, more than 8 million people have seen the performance.

“It’s quite a show for everyone,” Dionne said. “Every generation appreciates it. Older people love to see the fashion and set designs, while younger people are interested in the acrobats and the tricks. Everyone can find pleasure in watching the show.”

Tickets and more information can be found at cirquedusoleil.com.

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