With ‘Messi10’, Cirque du Soleil is not only reimagining football, but also circus
Quebecer company premieres a show in Barcelona for the first time
As the company that helped redefine contemporary circus, the Cirque du Soleil is now pushing the boundaries of the art even further with ‘Messi10’, a spectacle exploring the world of football through the Argentinian star and interacting with the audience at never-before seen levels.
With still one month to go, preparations are in full-swing in Barcelona’s Parc del Forum, where the circus will open its doors on October 10—the first time the Quebecer company premieres one of its shows in Catalonia or Spain.
The company has hailed ‘Messi10’ as one of its most challenging works to date, with an equally ambitious setting.
“We have some new pieces of circus equipment that have never been seen before, that we’re doing on stage for the first time"
Tyler Davidson · 'Messi10' director
“We have some new pieces of circus equipment that have never been seen before, that we’re doing on stage for the first time,” said Tyler Davidson, the director of the show.
In total, the company transported around 267 tonnes of material to raise an ephemeral structure that will host the show for a month. The construction will stand 17 meters tall, and will be so big that it could contain as much water as 27 Olympic swimming pools, and strong enough to hang 56 cars from its ceiling.
With almost 50 artists from all around the world, the spectacle will be a "celebration of sport and its universal values", embodied in the Barça star.
According to Davidson, Messi himself advised the company in the first stages of the creative process, and made sure that some elements of the show remained true to his personal experience, such as the support of his family.
Still, the company underlines that you don’t need to be a Barça supporter or a fan of Messi to enjoy the show. The leading theme of the spectacle will be football and the values of sport. For instance, the show will last 90 minutes, the same duration as a football match, and the seats of the circus will mimic those of a football stadium, as well as the rivalry between the supporters of two teams.
Becoming Messi for a day
Cirque du Soleil will bring this new experience far beyond the boundaries of a circus, with the audience taking center stage in an interactive space inviting them to become Messi for a day, which will open its doors ahead of the main spectacle.
The audience will take part in a competition featuring virtual reality, a quiz on Messi’s life, dribbling games, and the challenge of scoring against a robot. The winner will be crowned the Messi of the day and will take part in the show.
The show will be running for a month, with tickets from €40. Many more cities will come, but so far only Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been confirmed.