Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Iris,’ featuring music by Danny Elfman, to bow at Kodak Theatre


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The long-awaited Cirque du Soleil production that will take up residence at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood next summer finally has a name and a creative team.

‘Iris,’ written and directed by Philippe Decouflé, is set to make its world premiere at the Kodak in the summer of 2011, according to the company. The production will pay homage to the history of filmmaking and is expected to feature dance, acrobatics, live video, filmed sequences and animation.


The production marks Decouflé’s first collaboration with Cirque. The Paris-born stage artist is founder and artistic director of the dance company DCA and has performed as a soloist around the world. His other directorial credits include music videos, commercials and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

Composer Danny Elfman is writing the original score for ‘Iris.’ Elfman is best known for his scores to the movies of Tim Burton as well as the opening theme for the animated TV series ‘The Simpsons.’

The show will feature a cast of more than 72 performing artists from around the world.

[Updated: 1:15 p.m.]: ‘Iris’ is expected to begin previews at the Kodak in early July with an official opening on Sept. 25, according to Daniel Lamarre, president and chief executive of Cirque.

Lamarre said that the company expects to spend about $40 million to renovate the Kodak for the purposes of the show, and then another $60 million on top of that on the production itself. He added that the show will be an homage to various cinematic genres, from silent movies to the current 3D craze.

‘The inspiration for the show comes from a performance Cirque gave at the Oscar ceremony [in 2002],’ said Lamarre. ‘We saw that there was a synergy between our kind of performance and the movies.’

As previously reported, the show is expected to be the resident production at the Kodak, the current home of the annual Academy Awards ceremony.


The company told The Times last year that it expects the new production to be performed year-round, with close to 368 shows annually. Some seating reconfiguration of the Kodak is likely since the company doesn’t expect it will be able to fill the 3,400-seat venue for all performances.

Rehearsals for ‘Iris’ are set to begin shortly in Montreal, where Cirque is based, and then move to L.A. following the 2011 Oscar ceremony.

Rounding out the ‘Iris’ team will be Oscar-nominated production designer Jean Rabasse, choreographer Daphné Mauger, costume designer Philippe Guillotel and lighting designer Patrice Besombes. Serving as ‘director of creation’ will be Jean-François Bouchard.

Cirque has experienced global success with its family-friendly acrobatic productions, including a number of resident shows in Las Vegas. But the seemingly invincible company slipped up earlier this year on its New York production of ‘Banana Shpeel,’ which closed earlier than expected after scathing reviews.

-- David Ng

Top photo: The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times



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