Fan sings NOI from ZAIA Cirque Du Soleil

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hn608_lamG0

A ZAIA fan has recorded their own rendition of the song NOI from the show, complete with photos from the Zaia theater performances and pics of the band. (Hey, I’m in those pics!). Chicago Rose who performs this song in the show with the cast says “I love it”. And I think it’s pretty darn cool too.

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Cirque Michael Jackson

The Associated Press

Date: Tuesday Apr. 20, 2010 1:33 PM ET

LOS ANGELES — First the Beatles and Elvis, now Michael Jackson.

The acrobatic troupe Cirque du Soleil announced Tuesday that it will put on a live touring show featuring the songs of the King of Pop starting late next year.

That will be followed by a permanent production in Las Vegas in 2012 at a property owned by casino operator MGM Mirage.

The casino company did not say which venue will host the show.

Cirque and Jackson’s estate will each own 50 percent of the project and share equally in the cost of putting it on. The estate will also receive royalties from the use of Jackson’s music and other property.

And CNN.com:
http://edition.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/04/20/michael.jackson.cirque/index.html?eref=edition

Los Angeles, California (CNN) — Cirque du Soleil and Michael Jackson’s estate have struck a deal to bring the late pop star’s music to the big tent starting next year.

The show will go on tour near the end of 2011, and a Las Vegas, Nevada, show will debut the following year, according to Cirque du Soleil President and CEO Daniel Lamarre.

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The Clowns of Cirque Du Soleil

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HVwRv7tnRcA

A montage of the clowns of Cirque Du Soleil. I see Dimitri Hatton here from our ZAIA Cirque show doing his Montgolfiere passage and “Mad Conductor” act. I’m sure that Onofrio Colucci is also in this video but I’m not sure which clown he is (formerly with “O” and Zaia, currently with ZED in Tokyo).

You’ll also see Brian Dewhurst from Mystere. I had the chance to see Mystere performed in Vegas several years ago and the pre-show antics of Dewhurst stand out in my memory as one of the highlights of the show. He is SO funny.

Castles Made of Sand

Castles Made of Sand
Music, Lyrics and Vocals by Karin Maria Andersson
Guitar and video by Olivier Milchberg
Macau (SAR) China, January 2010

This video has clips from the Cirque Du Soleil artists of ZAIA starting in Montreal, Canada from January 2008 during training (and lots of snow!) to late 2009 backstage, and during rehearsals for the show at the Venetian in Macau (SAR) China.

For us in the show the video is extremely emotional. Some of the people in this video are no longer with us in Macau. The time of ZAIA is one that all of us will remember and many of us will cherish. The experiences we had in China for many of us were not what we expected – they were experiences and adventures we could have never imagined; many good and some painful for each of us.

I normally don’t get seen in videos or promo photos – so thank you to Olivier for getting me in there several times. Fun to see the musicians and how all of our looks changed from the beginning in Montreal to the journey in China. As our composer told us: “You all look more shiny.” I would agree. Cirque and China have allowed us to shine.

I think this video will give a sense of closure to many of us for a slice of time we spent together – a “castle made of sand”.

I am personally moved by the video in a way beyond words. Thank you to Maria and Olivier for this truly precious gift of song….

And a note from Olivier on this video:

Hi all my dear friends,

Here is a new video on the creation of Zaia. It’s a tribute to Zaia artists, and especially to Maria and the musicians.

I asked Maria to compose a song for it, and she did it just before leaving Macau.
These images can seem nostalgic in our situation, but the purpose of this video is only to highlight the strong and moving times we spent together; sharing sorrow and joy, as Maria says.

It’s my way to say thank you to all of you, and to express my admiration of the amazing talent of every artist. And let’s remember, even if this adventure stops right now, our talents will continue to shine and spread over the planet.

Olivier

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Cirque Performer Dies of Injuries

A sad day today for our Cirque family. This is the first time a Cirque artist has died while rehearsing/performing their discipline. Here in Macau at the ZAIA show it’s very quiet today. Artists are thinking of the family and their pain, as I’m sure artists in other Cirque shows worldwide are also doing today.

The Canadian Press
Date: Saturday Oct. 17, 2009 8:18 PM ET

MONTREAL — A Cirque du Soleil performer, who fell off a trampoline during a training session Friday, has died of his injuries. The company said Oleksandr Zhurov (Sacha) died in a Montreal hospital Saturday.

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Cirque du soleil performer suffers head trauma after fall

cirque-ovo

Performers take part in the closing act during a Cirque du Soleil OVO pre-opening show for family, friends and members of the media Wednesday, July 29, 2009 in Quebec City. A Cirque du soleil performer was injured after a fall on Friday.

(Jacques Boissinot / THE CANADIAN PRESS) The Canadian Press Date: Friday Oct. 16, 2009 2:34 PM ET MONTREAL — A Cirque du soleil performer was rushed to hospital with head injuries Friday morning after falling off a trampoline. The 24-year-old performer was doing exercises for the world-famous circus when the incident happened.

Emergency-services workers say the man was unconscious when they arrived on the scene, and they rushed him to hospital. The performer’s condition in hospital is not yet known. The incident happened at a Montreal facility where the international troupe rehearses for shows. Cirque du soleil spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.

Going ‘Gaga’ in Macau


lady-gaga

Lady Gaga performed in Macau at the Sands Venetian Casino (where I work with Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show) as the final concert of her tour. There is an interview released by CNN here:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Music/08/25/lady.gaga/index.html?iref=intlOnlyonCNN

Lady Gaga attended our Cirque ZAIA show the night before her performance.

Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA Band 2009

zaia-band

The Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA band, June 2009 in Macau, China. A rare moment where all the musicians are together for a photo opp.

In this photo: Eduard Harutyunyan (percussion), Jay Elfenbein (viol, dare I say cello, strings, bass guitar), Darrin Johnson (drummer), Olivier Milchberg (guitar, Turkish banjo, plucked strings), Maria Andersson (singer), Steven Bach (keyboards – bandleader), Rose Winebrenner (vocalist), Racheal Cogan (recorder, EWI)and Conrad Askland (keyboards, assistant bandleader).

Cirque du Soleil founder going into space

Guy LaLiberte

The Canadian Press

MONTREAL — A website that covers NASA is reporting that Guy Laliberte, the founder of the Cirque du soleil, will visit the International Space Station this September.

“NASA Watch,” which has no official links with the American space agency, says it has learned from multiple sources that Laliberte will fly into orbit aboard a Soyuz spacecraft .

Also see: http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090604/sc_space/acrobattobenextspacetourist

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ZAIA CD Soundtrack Released

ZAIA - Cirque Du Soleil

The official soundtrack for Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show (Venetian Macau, China) was released on May 26, 2009. You can currently purchase on Amazon.com: ZAIA CD Amazon.com – or go to Amazon.com and search for “ZAIA”. A cut from the CD should also be on the Cirque Du Soleil 25th Anniversary CD which will also be available on Amazon.com late June 2009.

If you follow the Amazon link you can also listen to Mp3 excerpts from the album. I’ve heard rumors there will be a “Making of ZAIA” documentary released that will include many of the musicians and artists involved in creating the CD soundtrack. 

To my knowledge, this is the first Cirque Du Soleil original soundtrack CD that has been recorded by the original show musicians. Most tracks recorded in Macau (SAR) China, string parts recorded in Hong Kong.

Music composed by Violaine Corradi. As a sidenote, I was asked by Violaine to arrange string parts for the CD which were recorded by members of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. That was a very fun project to work on. Hope you enjoy the soundtrack!

Zaia Music Soundtrack CD

The soundtrack for the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA show is completed and will be printed to CD soon and available to the public. I don’t know a specific release date, but somewhere around early Summer 2009.

My part in the project was to play keyboards and arrange string parts recorded by members of the Hong Kong Symphony. Most of the recording was done on location in Macau (SAR) China, and the string parts with the HK Philharmonic players was completed at a recording studio in Hong Kong.

Rumor mill on the street is that Guy LaLiberte (founder of Cirque Du Soleil) has heard the soundtrack and loved it. I’ve even been told he asked to hear a second time the next morning.

Members of the ZAIA band got to hear a preview of the finished soundtrack with composer Violaine Corradi at the end of February. I won’t give you any spoilers, except to say that I was very pleased with the project and enjoyed the creativity in the mixes.

Violaine Corradi (ZAIA composer) told me one of her goals of the finished soundtrack was to have it be like looking at a prism held in your hand, then rotating it to look at the prism from different perspectives. I definately got that feeling from the soundtrack.

To my knowledge, this is also the first Cirque Du Soleil soundtrack CD recorded by the actual performing musicians in the show. The other soundtracks are recorded with studio musicians in Montreal I’ve heard. (With the exception of some subsequent live releases from shows like Mystere).

So I hope you all enjoy our work on the ZAIA CD when it’s released. Of course I’ll post on my blog when I know the official release date.

Guy Laliberte 2008 Artist Christmas Presents

Guy Laliberte

For Christmas 2008 Guy Laliberte had a fantastic gift for the artists of the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA show (and other CDS artists worldwide): a handbag made from the tarp of a retired Cirque big top tent. The handbags are made of the recycled material and fit into Cirque “eco-friendly” attitude, as well as featuring the wonderful bright yellow and blue of the traveling Cirque big tops. Just like the tarp you see behind Guy in the photo above.

Thank you and Merry Christmas 2008 to Guy!

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Cirque ZAIA Helps Macau Children

For Christmas 2008 the cast of Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA show, along with matching funds from Cirque, have raised over 45,000 MOP ($5,500 USD) to buy Christmas clothing packages for the babies and children of CRADLE OF HOPE and the FOUNTAIN OF HOPE groups in Macau (SAR) China.

ZAIA artists and staff helped wrap the gifts and even took the older children on shopping trips in Macau to pick out their own clothes. A couple days before Christmas the older children will get to see the ZAIA show live and meet Cirque artists in person. Merry Christmas Macau!

Manchester United visits Zaia in Macau

manchester-united-1108

Photo November 2008 at the ZAIA Theater – Venetian Macao.

Manchester United visited Cirque Du Soleil’s ZAIA Theater in Macau, China as part of their promotion for the new Manchester United Interactive Football Experience located at the Venetian Macao. Here is the photo of MU with the ZAIA cast (I’m on the far right in the top photo).

Update December 2008: Manchester United wins the World Cup!

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First Autograph Request in China

This was fun for me. I went to a local restaurant on Taipa Island in Macau, China and after the waitress takes my order she comes back and says “Can I have your autograph?”. In her hands is the Cirque Du Soleil ZAIA program and she has it opened to my picture for me to sign.

After I sign the program I realize that I also want a cup of coffee. But the waitress is walking around the restaurant showing people my autograph so I can’t get her attention for several minutes. So the lesson I’ve learned in this is that there is a price to fame: It’s more difficult to get a cup of coffee…

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