“Corteo” will run for seven performances. | Courtesy of Cirque du Soleil

The international circus-arts production company Cirque du Soleil will be making a stop in Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center Aug. 15-19, as part of its North American Arena Tour. The production of “Corteo” will be performed seven times and features 51 artists from 18 countries.

And it’ll take about 21 semi-trucks to haul everything in for the show.

“Corteo” means cortege in Italian and is a “joyous procession, a festive parade imagined by a clown.” The show will incorporate comedy, acrobatics and theatrics, and a divided stage will allow attendees to see not only the performances but also the performer’s-eye-view of the audience. 

The story follows a clown while he imagines his own funeral, set in a carnival atmosphere. The hand-painted curtains, which will fill the Yum! Center, are intended to give a grandiose feel for the stage and helps engage the audience.

Two performers from “Corteo” stopped by Insider’s offices in April. | Photo by Sara Havens

A news release details that the show highlights the strength and fragility of the clown, as well as his wisdom and kindness, “to illustrate the portion of humanity that is within each of us. The music turns lyrical and playful, carrying ‘Corteo’ through a timeless celebration in which illusion teases reality.”

The production premiered in Montreal in 2005 and was directed by Daniele Finzi Pasca. It has since visited 64 cities in 19 countries on four continents and attracted 8 million viewers.

Cirque du Soleil was established in Montreal, Canada, but has become an internationally recognized name. The company reimagines circus-arts through various productions, and today, it employs more than 1,300 artists worldwide.

“Corteo” will run Aug. 15-17 at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 18 at 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., and Aug. 19 at 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets are still available and start at $50.

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Rebekah Alvey
Louisville native, Alvey is currently pursuing a journalism and Arabic major at Western Kentucky University. In the fall she will be returning to the College Heights Herald as News Editor and previously covered administration and academics on campus. She spent the past five months studying in Aarhus, Denmark, at the Danish School of Media and Journalism where she covered the European Union, abortion laws and world politics. While she loved traveling around Europe for a semester, she is excited to be back and reporting in Louisville.