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Cirque du Soleil takes its acts to the web

Cirque du Soleil, having halted its live production shows around the world, has assembled something of a greatest-hits package for the web.

The company has launched the digital hub CirqueConnect, which you can find by clicking cirquedusoleilcom/cirqueconnect or the #cirqueconnect hashtag on Twitter. Cirque has culled existing footage for fans to access from home, including the debut at noon Friday of an hourlong special from “O” at Bellagio, and the international shows “Kurios” and “Luzia.”

“We at Cirque du Soleil have a role to play in providing high-quality entertainment to our fans that are staying in their homes as this crisis unfolds,” Cirque Chief Marketing Officer Sheila Morin said in a statement. “Now more than ever, our fans need the distraction that spectacle brings, a break from the chaos. We want to do our part to spread joy, even from afar, directly to them.”

According to a Cirque news release issued Thursday, along with the 60-minute special posting Friday, the company is presenting:

Virtual Reality Experiences: Download the Cirque du Soleil VR app to get on stage and step into the heart of Cirque du Soleil’s most thrilling moments.

Content Series and Tutorials: With titles such as “Cirque it Out” and “Color Me Cirque,” audiences can exercise like a Cirque du Soleil artist and learn make-up techniques from the professionals.

Music: Sit back and enjoy, sing along or get up and dance to a variety of music videos and soundtracks from the Cirque du Soleil shows.

Family Friendly Favorites: Cirque du Soleil family programming includes Netflix’s “Luna Petunia,” an animated series of adventure, friendship and learning in the fantastical land of Amazia and “Big Top Academy,” an original live-action kids series centered around an extraordinary group of young acrobats who dream of becoming circus artists.

Cirque has halted its six Las Vegas Strip production shows, and a total of 44 productions worldwide, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A total of 4,700 employees, including 1,350 in Las Vegas, are currently out of jobs.

Cirque CEO Daniel Lamarre said last week in an exclusive interview, “I feel I am on a mission right now, to really make sure we go through this correctly and to bring back our people on stage as soon as possible … I hope this will not last long. When the time comes, we have to be able to be afloat. We have to be ready to bring them back to their home theaters, and restart the machine.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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