Cirque du Soleil’s “Corteo” Will Return to Portland for a Limited Run Next March

The show, which came to town in 2008 and 2019, centers on a clown’s whimsical funeral.

It seems like Cirque du Soleil just packed up its big top and left town, and we’re already getting news of the troupe’s return.

This week, the French-Canadian company announced it will bring Corteo to Portland for a limited six-show run March 9-12, 2023. The production, directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca, premiered in Montreal in April 2005 and has since been performed in front of more than 10 million spectators in 20 countries on four continents.

In fact, you may have even been one of those audience members. Corteo had its Portland debut in 2008, where it played for six weeks inside a tent near Zidell Yards. The show came back in 2019, but moved to Moda Center.

When it arrives next year, Corteo is scheduled to return to the giant arena. In a Cirque du Soleil first, the stage will be placed in the center of the venue, and each half of the audience will face the other half. The company says this positioning will provide a unique perspective of the show as well as a performer’s-eye view of the spectators. The set curtains, inspired by the architectural aesthetics of the Eiffel Tower, were hand painted and set the tone for Corteo’s poetry.

Like all of Cirque’s productions, Corteo has a very loose but also incredibly whimsical plot—in fact, the story is about as fleshed out as they come for this company. The show centers on Mauro the Dream Clown who pictures his own funeral taking place in a carnival-like atmosphere. The playful procession includes acrobats spinning on chandeliers, jumping on two 600-pound trampoline beds, and propelling each other across the room on a massive see-saw.

Club Cirque members can currently buy tickets online. Those sales open up to the general public on Monday, Sept. 19.