Things to Do

Exclusive: The Newest Cirque du Soleil Show, “ECHO,” Will Make Its US Debut in Tysons Next Summer

It’s the first time in Cirque’s nearly 40-year history that the US tour will start here.

Photo courtesy Cirque du Soleil

After a summer run of Cirque du Soleil’s KURIOS: Cabinet of Curiosities show in Virginia, Cirque announced today that its next show’s US tour will debut in the DC area, under that same big top in Tysons. 

ECHO, Cirque’s 20th show, will be directed by Mukhtar Omar Sharif Mukhtar—who got his start with Cirque as a performer in the Beatles LOVE show in Vegas in 2005—and based on the original concept of Es Devlin.

“The show focuses on the idea of connection, the connection we have with each other, the connection we have with the beings that share this planet with us, and also how this connection has deteriorated over time,” says Mukhtar. “We have a main protagonist Future, and Future is a young girl who represents the youth of today and the awareness that the youth have for what’s going on in the world because of how easy information is available to them through the internet. At the beginning of the show she discovers how the world is changing and the effects this change has on the world, negative or positive . . . and then at one specific moment something happens which changes everything for her . . . . She makes this big decision and she brings everyone together, animals and humans, to work together to rebuild our world. It’s a story about connection, collaboration, and the power of intention. The ability to have a strong vision and put all your energy into it to make that idea come to fruition.”

In production now, the show will make its world premiere in Montreal, home of Cirque du Soleil, in April of 2023, and then kick off its US tour in Tysons on September 6, running through October 22. Additional tour cities and dates are still to be announced. 

In its 20 DC-area visits since 1988, Cirque du Soleil has drawn 1.7 million spectators, but this show, says Mukhtar, will offer a fresh look for Cirque fans. 

“The actual visual universe that we’re creating is going to be completely different than anything we’ve seen in any of our other shows,” he says. “We’re working with Es Devlin, and Es Devlin has a very unique style in her visual approach to art. The show approaches Cirque in a lot more of a modern, bold way, and we’re trying to infuse that without our performances as well as our visual universe.”

The tech, he says, “pushes the boundaries” of what can be done in a big top. “We have our big-top shows and our resident shows, and resident shows are usually where we put all of our big, technical ideas because we can sustain it in one place, whereas in a big-top show, we tour.” This tour, though, will include a “two-story-high cube” that will function as a “moving, 3D multimedia technology surface” that will display content as well as have the ability to have acrobatic performances inside of it and on its surface. “It’s quite insane, really.” 

Tickets to the show are on sale today at www.cirquedusoleil.com/ECHO

Amy Moeller
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.