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Theater Cirque

Cirque du Soleil 101: The Ultimate Guide to the Best Cirque du Soleil Shows

March 18, 2016 by Alyssa

Cirque Shows

Since it was created in 1984, Cirque du Soleil has captivated the imagination of audiences around the globe. With high-flying, death-defying acrobatics and a range of whimsical themes, Cirque du Soleil events are a must-see event.

If you’re wondering which Cirque du Soleil show to see in Vegas or on tour, look no further. A list of the most popular Cirque du Soleil events is laid out below, with photos, videos, and a brief overview of what each production includes. 

Jump to a specific section of our Cirque du Soleil guide by clicking on a title below. You can also scroll through the full list for information on all the major Cirque du Soleil shows.

Criss Angel Believe | Ka | Kurios | La Nouba | Love | Michael Jackson ONE | O | Ovo | Toruk | Zumanity | Cirque du Soleil FAQs


Cirque du Soleil: Criss Angel Believe | Tickets


Cirque du Soleil Criss Angel Believe


Year introduced: 2008

What is Cirque du Soleil: Criss Angel Believe about?: One of the best Cirque du Soleil shows in Las Vegas, Criss Angel Believe highlights dozens of this lauded magician’s latest and greatest illusions. The show marries the wonders of one of the greatest living magicians with Cirque’s trademark mystifying choreography.

Notable routines: Tesla coil, sleight of hand with doves, Criss Angel being sawed in two

Note: During the chainsaw routine, there will be stage blood and gore on stage. You should take this into account if you plan to bring small children.


Cirque du Soleil: Kà | Tickets

Year introduced: 2004

What is Cirque du Soleil: Kà about?: This Cirque du Soleil show takes its name from the element “Kà,” a mystical fire in a far-away empire. The show’s two main characters are royal twins, a boy and girl, who are separated in youth and must overcome a number of overwhelming forces to reunite in the royal court. This production takes much of its inspiration from Asian culture.

Notable routines: Wheel of Death, martial arts choreography, bungees


Cirque du Soleil: Kurios | Tickets

Year introduced: 2014

What is Cirque du Soleil: Kurios about?: Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities focuses on a Victorian-era inventor who creates a magical machine that can travel through time, space, and even into alternate dimensions. Combining the vintage with the modern, this show has a steampunk feel to it.

Notable routines: Rola bola, aerial bike, Russian cradle

Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba | Tickets

Year introduced: 1998

What is Cirque du Soleil: La Nouba about?: Housed at Disney World, La Nouba remains one of the most exciting Cirque du Soleil shows active today. The festive production takes its name from the French slang “la nouba,” or “party.” During this 90-minute show, the fun, outlandish world of the circus meets the dark, mundane urban landscape for a dazzling final outcome.

Notable routines: Flying trapeze, trampoline, bicycle tricks


Cirque du Soleil: Love | Tickets

Year introduced: 2006

What is Cirque du Soleil: Love about?: By far one of the most popular and, by many accounts, best Cirque shows, Love brings the music of The Beatles to life on stage. The story line loosely follows The Beatles’ own career, incorporating cultural icons like Volkswagen Beetles as well as characters like Eleanor Rigby and Sgt. Pepper.

Notable routines: Russian swing, Spanish web, trampoline


Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson ONE | Tickets

Year introduced: 2013

What is Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson ONE about?: The ultimate tribute to the “King of Pop,” Cirque du Soleil: Michael Jackson ONE celebrates the genius behind beloved songs like “Bad,” “Smooth Criminal,” and “Thriller.” Set to the legendary singer’s best songs, this show follows four misfits who go on a journey to achieve Michael Jackson’s playfulness, agility, strength, and grace.

Notable routines: Trampoline, slackline, martial arts choreography


Cirque du Soleil: O | Tickets

Year introduced: 1998

What is Cirque du Soleil: O about?: One of the leading shows on the Cirque du Soleil schedule, O has been staged at the Bellagio in Las Vegas since 1998. Taking inspiration from the Bellagio’s famous fountains, the O stage sits at the center of a large pool of water, and many of the acrobats’ routines take place in the pool.

Notable routines: Synchronized swimming, fire dancing, high dive

Cirque du Soleil: Ovo | Tickets

Year introduced: 2009

What is Cirque du Soleil: Ovo about?: Cirque du Soleil: Ovo focuses in on the microscopic world of insects. The cast of characters in this production is large, and acrobats from around the world have taken on the roles of ladybugs, spiders, butterflies, fireflies, cockroaches, crickets, and many more familiar bugs.

Notable routines: Contortion, hand balancing, foot juggling

Cirque du Soleil: Toruk | Tickets

Year introduced: 2015

What is Cirque du Soleil: Toruk about?: Inspired by the blockbuster film “Avatar,” Cirque du Soleil: Toruk transports audiences to the planet of Pandora. With characters dressed as the Na’vi and a life-sized puppet of the show’s namesake Toruk, this production offers a surreal and immersive look at the universe behind James Cameron’s beloved film.

Notable routines: Aerial ballet in silk, puppetry, hand balancing


Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity | Tickets

Year introduced: 2003

What is Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity about?: The cabaret-style Cirque du Soleil: Zumanity takes on adult themes of human sexuality under the direction of the show’s hostess, the Mistress of Sensuality. Featuring elements of striptease and over-the-top acrobatics, Zumanity has been hailed as one of the best Cirque shows for mature audiences to see in Vegas.

Notable routines: Contortion, Cyr wheel, aerial straps

Note: This show explores themes of sexuality. You should take this into account if you plan to bring small children.

Cirque du Soleil Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cirque du Soleil?

Cirque du Soleil is a unique theatrical experience that combines elements of theater, gymnastics, and the circus. Each Cirque du Soleil show is slightly different from the ones before it, but every one celebrates the grace and strength of the human body through amazing routines like aerial ballet, the flying trapeze, and the trampoline.

What does “Cirque du Soleil” mean?

In French, the phrase “Cirque du Soleil” literally translates to “Circus of the Sun.”

Who is the Cirque du Soleil founder? How did Cirque du Soleil start?

In 1984 in the Quebec city of Baie-Saint-Paul, two French-Canadian performers named Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix were heavily involved in local street theater, including fire-breathing, juggling, dancing, and much more. That year, in preparation for Quebec City’s 450th anniversary, local festival organizers were seeking a show to celebrate the city’s artistic merits. Laliberté presented his idea of a traveling circus and acrobatics production, which would be titled Cirque du Soleil. His vision was accepted, and the Canadian government granted Cirque du Soleil funding to create its first production, Le Grand Tour.

Where are Cirque du Soleil performers from?

Cirque du Soleil performers come from all over the world. As you can see in the guide above, there are multiple Cirque du Soleil shows taking place around the globe at any moment. Each cast is made up of talented acrobats from many different countries and regions.

How much are Cirque du Soleil tickets?

The price of Cirque du Soleil tickets varies by city and show. You can check ticket prices for specific shows and performances by navigating the table below.

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