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New tour celebrates nature
Champion British gymnast Alanna Baker is part of an international cast touring the UK in Cirque du Soleil's spectacular production, Ovo. Alanna, from Redhill in Surrey, plays the role of the Black Spider in the show which completes its English dates at Arena Birmingham between October 3 and October 7, 2018.
Ovo: The spider spins her web
Alanna, who has been training since the age of five, has travelled around the world performing in Ovo, which features a cast of 50 gymnasts, acrobats and dancers from 17 countries. She was crowned European gymnastics champion in 2011 and won bronze in the World Championships in 2012.
Since Ovo premiered in Montreal in 2009, it has been seen by more than five million people worldwide.
Gymnasts: Foot juggling in Ovo
The show's creator and director, Deborah Colker, was inspired by the world of insects. Ovo, which means 'egg' in Portuguese, is a headlong rush into a colourful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement. When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about the iconic object. And love is in the air as a gawky, quirky insect arrives in the bustling community, catching the eye of a fabulous ladybug.
Proposal: Love is in the air
The 'insects' perform a series of jaw-dropping acrobatic set-pieces, including hand balancing, foot juggling, aerial cradles and diabolos. The score, by composer Berna Ceppas, recalls the rhythms of Brazil.
Jaw-dropping: Hand balancing in Ovo
The show has a two-month residency at London's Royal Albert Hall from January 7, 2018, then tours arenas in Britain and Ireland from August 16 to October 21.
Cirque du Soleil was founded in Quebec, Canada, in July 1984, by two former street performers, Guy Lalibertι and Gilles Ste-Croix. It is now the largest theatrical producer in the world with over 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists.
Venue: Arena Birmingham
Cirque du Soleil 2018 British and Irish tour dates:
Jan 7 Mar 4: Royal Albert Hall, London; Aug 16 19: Echo Arena, Liverpool; Aug 22 26: FlyDSA Arena, Sheffield;
Aug 29 Sept 2: Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle;
Sept 5 9: SSE Hydro, Glasgow;
Sept 12 16: Motorpoint Arena, Nottingham;
Sept 19 23: First Direct Arena, Leeds;
Sept 26 30: Manchester Arena;
Oct 3 7: Arena Birmingham;
Oct 10 14: 3Arena Dublin;
Oct 17 21: SSE Arena, Belfast.