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Cirque du Soleil’s magnificent production of Corteo swung and leapt through New Hampshire last month and is returning to our region with seven shows in Boston from June 8 to 11 at the Agganis Arena.

Tickets are available online at

Hailing from Montreal, Cirque du Soleil brings a modern, whimsical, and often dark and strange sensibility with its high-flying circus performances that combine nail-biting aerial feats and acrobatics with live music, comedy, beautiful costuming, clowns and dancers, and otherworldly storytelling.

This touring production, Corteo, has a dreamlike quality as the clown, Mauro, imagines his own funeral.

“It’s a beloved show for the audience,” says senior publicist Alexandra Gaillard, who gave Northshore a backstage, behind-the-scenes tour of Corteo at SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It’s a show to celebrate life.”

What follows is a loose collection of surreal and bizarre vignettes: Mauro suspended high in the air on a brass bed surrounded by angels before becoming one himself; a tiny woman levitating through the theater, suspended by four huge helium balloons and leaping off audience member’s hands; the angel Mauro serenely riding a bicycle through the air high above the stage.

Corteo is also visually beautiful, with huge, floor-to-ceiling curtains hanging around the stage and elaborate costumes: More than 2,500 costumes pieces in fact, including clothing, shoes, hats, headpieces, and accessories. The stage itself is actually double-sided and situated in the center of the arena, creating a backdrop out of the audience itself. This adds to the traditional circus atmosphere, since circuses traditionally perform in the center ring under a big top, and also creates a slightly different show, depending on which side of the stage you sit.

“Sometimes people like to come two times, to have the two experiences,” Gaillard says.

The dance, storytelling, and musical numbers that punctuate the show and tell its story, though, exist around Cirque du Soleil’s claim to fame and its main draw: The incredible acrobats, jugglers, dancers, and gymnasts who perform gravity-defying acts to the audience’s delight and awe.

Corteo’s artists, performers, and technicians hail from around the world, representing 28 different nationalities, Gaillard says. They perform on the suspended pole, trapeze, ropes, ladders, trampoline beds, and rings that look like sparkling crystal chandeliers, climbing, twirling, flying, spinning, and bouncing through the air in incredible displays of strength and grace.

Corteo is just one of Cirque du Soleil’s many touring shows, and the troupe also has residencies in places like Mexico and Las Vegas, including the legendary Love, which is a tribute to The Beatles. But North Shore residents who aren’t headed to on vacation anytime soon need only wait a few months for Corteo to spin, sing, and dance its way back to New England with its summertime shows in Boston.

It’ll surely be a night to remember, especially for those ready to open their minds and imaginations.

The show is “magic,” Gaillard says, especially “if you bring your emotions.”