Francois Girard, the director of the Cirque du Soleil show, that is about to be opened later this month in New York faces a big problem: he has to keep together a show of 11 acts and 75 performers in the massive Radio City Music Hall. He sees the space as a “monster” and recognized it is a real challenge to direct a show in such a mammoth space.
“You can see how a human body could get lost in this space” Girard exclaims. He wrote the play “Zarkana” with another space availability in mind. The Radio City Music Hall is so large that it can easily swallow up the 50 million dollars production. But with a drop of imagination, the director and writer of “Zarkana” has managed to come up with an idea to save the play; he thought of making the space itself a character. “I feel at home right now” Girard says.
The Hall has 6000 seats that will be occupied each night of the show, starting June 29.
Life with Cirque du Soleil is anything but boring. Girard says that he is constantly amazed by the dynamics of the show. “It comes from everywhere and has so many layers to it, which keeps me interested. There’s not a boring day at the office for me.”
The players feel the same. They do everything with passion. Just like artist Erika Chen, who is the sand painter performing for six minutes in Act 2 . She is 27 years old and confessed that her self-taught occupation came as a hobby that she fell in love with. She was working in the banking field when she discovered sand painting. It was love at first sight. It still feels surreal. I can’t believe it’s happening,” she says “I’m just thankful. It feels like a dream.”
Cirque du Soley will put up the “Zarkana” rock-opera in New York and then will continue the world tour in Madrid and Moscow. Girard hopes to return to The Big Apple every summer. “It’s a highly saturated world, where if you want to be heard you’d better be clear and loud,” he believes. “That makes it both very exciting.”