Cirque du Soleil does good for all
Cirque du Soleil has produced no shortage of miracles on the Strip. From Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay to Mystère at Treasure Island, a tribe of talents engages in high-flying, gravity-defying acrobatics, dance, martial arts and various uncategorizable physical feats with superhuman skill and precision. Once a year, members of the tribe step forward to participate in a single performance with a message that ripples from the desert and flows around the world. This year, One Night for One Drop takes place at Bellagio, where water is the driving force for Cirque’s aquatic extravaganza “O”.
The One Drop Foundation grew from a vision Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberté fostered long before his family of Las Vegas Strip productions grew to a half dozen. As Cirque evolved from some 20 performing artists in Quebec into a worldwide phenomenon, Laliberté became increasingly aware of regions and populaces that lacked potable water. Where drinkable fluids are scarce, mortality rates are higher. Laliberté saw a way Cirque could give back. If he couldn’t solve the water problem, he could educate and invest via what Cirque du Soleil does best.
Performers, who donate their time, enjoy the opportunity One Drop gives them to express themselves apart from their regular roles. “That’s a huge draw for a lot of creators and performers,” says Sandi Croft, One Night for One Drop’s director of creation. “They are able to do different acts, play different roles, play different characters, to sort of step out of their normal show routines. … It gives them a chance to work on a new act of a new discipline, and to express themselves and push themselves even further by working with different actors and collaborators.”
One Drop’s creators have the dilemma of coming up with a miracle, a new water-themed concept every year that’s distinctive from past productions. This year, co-creators Andre Kasten and Leah Moyer direct the story of Drop (Sabine Nehls), who enlightens happy-go-lucky Everyman (Michael Duffy) about the politics and preciousness of H2O.
“Everyman represents all of us that wakes up, goes about their day kind of with blinders on,” says Croft. “And then Drop enters. Drop is a 7-year-old little girl who’s magical, enlightened, charismatic, and takes him on a journey to wake up, a journey through the show of choices we all make.”
Croft says the show starts with an act called “Eden” (“everything is in its purest form”), then flashes forward to the industrial age with acrobatic segment “Oil Rig.” The show features choreography by Andrew Winghart and Alexander Ekman, while A-list film composer Hans Zimmer contributes to the evening’s soundtrack by performing three of his compositions live, which tentatively will include music from Gladiator (featuring vocalist Czar Russell), Inception and Interstellar.
A live auction gives guests a chance to contribute to One Drop in a big way. Opportunities to donate or become a One Drop partner will be available at the Bellagio’s “O” Theatre, while those who can’t be there can contribute through onedrop.org. It’s a chance to give back while helping address a vital issue that affects and connects us all.
Bellagio, 7:30 p.m. March 8, starting at $125 plus tax and fee. onedrop.org/onenight