Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

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Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance will be part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. (Basheer Saleh)
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Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance will be part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. (Basheer Saleh)
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Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance will be part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. (Basheer Saleh)
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Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance will be part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. (Basheer Saleh)
Updated 21 September 2018
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Cirque du Soleil prepares ground-breaking show in King Fahd Stadium

RIYADH: A joint press conference between the MBC Group, the General Entertainment Authority, and Cirque du Soleil was held at King Fahd Stadium on Thursday afternoon to answer media questions and give some details about Cirque du Soleil’s upcoming special performance, part of Saudi Arabia’s 88th National Day celebrations. The show is slated to be one of the biggest performed by the Cirque and their first in Saudi Arabia. It is a one-night-only, exclusive event, designed especially for this occasion.
Daniel Fortin, vice president of Creation at Cirque du Soleil, teased the audience with a few details of the upcoming show. “With a cast and crew of over 300, this is one of the biggest shows we’ve ever done,” he said.
“Without giving too much of the plot away, the story is centered around the sun, and takes place from sunset to sunrise. Everything from the costumes to the stage props was created as a homage to Saudi culture. You’ll see a lot of Bedouin influences in the staging and in the music. We drew inspiration from a variety of sources, such as traditional Bedouin tents, desert scenery, even the stadium itself.”
The show has been in development for six months, and the cast and crew have been preparing for the show at the King Fahd International Stadium since the beginning of August.
The show will contain new technology, and 16 unprecedented acrobatic acts. However, Fortin refused to share too many details. “You’ll just have to see what we have planned at the show.” He said. “But I think you will be impressed. We’re doing things we’ve never done before.”
Tickets to the show sold out in less than 48 hours after their release; an incredible feat as the show has allocated more than 27,000 seats for the performance. Abdulrahman Al Khalifa, spokesperson for the General Entertainment Authority, was pleased— but not entirely surprised— by the public’s reaction to news of the show. “We felt that variety in the types of events we brought to Saudi Arabia was important,” he said, “and we conducted a number of research workshops to determine what sort of events would be well-received by the public. Cirque du Soleil was mentioned frequently in our research, so we’re very happy to have had the opportunity to bring them here.”
MBC head of events Omar Al Radi also expects a big response to the televising of the show, which he estimates will break records. “We’re broadcasting the show live on both our local and international channels, such as those in Europe and in America.” he said.
“We’re expecting over 200 million views. Probably record-breaking numbers. MBC is proud to have been part of bringing this historic event to Saudi Arabia, and we can’t wait for you to see it.”


KSA promoting culture of tolerence and fraternity

Saudi leadership has been keen to fight terrorism locally and globally. (SPA)
Updated 15 min 13 sec ago
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KSA promoting culture of tolerence and fraternity

  • The Kingdom has proven its understanding of the risks it faces by its measures to address them, the report said

RIYADH: Saudi Deputy Minister of Islamic Affairs Dr. Tawfiq bin Abdul Aziz Al-Sudairy praised the Kingdom’s efforts in confronting extremism and terrorism at local and international levels. 

During a conference of religious scholars held recently in Astana, Kazakhstan, the deputy minister said Saudi Arabia has always promoted peace and security, as it values tolerance and fraternity. 

Al-Sudairy commended the role of the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology (ETIDAL), and the Center for Intellectual Warfare, in this regard. 

Saudi leadership has been keen to fight terrorism locally and globally.

Last week, the Saudi Ministry of Justice concluded a training program aimed at combating terrorism funding and money laundering. More than 300 judges from Saudi criminal courts took part in the program. 

A recent report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) commended the Kingdom for making drastic changes to the way it combats money laundering, terrorism funding and arms proliferation.

The Kingdom has proven its understanding of the risks it faces by its measures to address them, the report said.