Cirque du Soleil Returning to Town

Le Cirque du Soleil will return to Santa Monica for at least 15 performances in February.

The French-Canadian circus will perform at the same site, on the beach just north of the Santa Monica Pier, where it appeared in November. Although the run is scheduled for Feb. 4-14, "we don't know how long we'll stay," said Le Cirque's general manager, Norman Latourelle.

However, Le Cirque is scheduled to perform indoors at the Calgary Olympic Arts Festival in late February, and may take its big top to an undetermined site in San Francisco in early March, so prospects for a long extension of the Santa Monica run are doubtful.

The show will not be an exact re-run of its earlier incarnation (which also played the Los Angeles Festival and San Diego's Balboa Park as well as the previous engagement in Santa Monica).

Slack wire artist Masha Dimitri has returned to her home in Switzerland and will be replaced by contortionist Angela Laurier. A group of seven Chinese children will do "rola-bola" stunts, a form of balancing, replacing the Zhao Family, three cyclists who have returned to their home in China. And clown Denis Lacombe will perform a couple of new acts, in addition to his "conductor" routine.

Tickets will be available Friday by calling Ticketmaster at (213) 480-3232 or (714) 740-2000.

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