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Wanda unveils Wuhan theme park

  • ScreenDaily
China’s Dalian Wanda group held a launch ceremony at the weekend for its latest entertainment projects, Wanda Movie Park and Han Show Theatre, in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Located at opposite ends of the Wuhan Central Cultural District, an $8bn (RMB50bn) development project in downtown Wuhan, the two sites cost a combined $1.14bn (RMB7bn).

Described as the world’s first indoor movie theme park, Wanda Movie Park was designed by architect Mark Fisher and features six attractions including ‘Ultimate Energy’, which combines 3D projection, live actors, props, stunts and special effects to transport riders to a future where man is at war with machines.

Also designed by Fisher with Franco Dragone as director, the Han Show Theatre features aerial, aquatic and immersive stage performance technology, including seating that lifts and pivots to enable the audience configuration to change shape.

Fisher was previously art director of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing
See full article at ScreenDaily »

China’s Wanda Offers Sneak Peek at Wuhan Wonders

China’s Wanda Offers Sneak Peek at Wuhan Wonders
Hong Kong – China’s giant property to entertainment group Dalian Wanda this week held a ‘lighting ceremony’ for its Han Show Theater.

Along with the Wanda Film Park, the venue is part of two linked cultural projects in Wuhan that are set to open at the end of the year.

The Han Show Theatre will be home to a huge and “electrifying” stage show, created and directed by world-renowned artistic director Franco Dragone, former director of the Cirque du Soleil and creator of The House of Dancing Water in Macau.

The Wuhan Movie Theme Park will be “a one-of-a-kind indoor movie theme park” with rides, attractions and entertainment.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Theatre Review: Quidam

Director: Franco Dragone.

Starring: Cirque du Soleil company.

Synopsis: Young Zoé is bored; her parents, distant and apathetic, ignore her. Her life has lost all meaning. Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world—the world of Quidam—where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.

Quidam, one of Cirque du Soleil’s oldest shows, a two-hour epic production featuring diabolo spinners, trapeze artists, contortionists, jugglers, pantomime clowns and skipping masters, returns to the Royal Albert Hall for its last hurrah in 2014.

Originally performed in 1996, Quidam is the company’s ninth, and indeed most popular touring show, and while the production values may not be on as grand a scale as perhaps some of their later efforts, you cannot fail to marvel at the quality and pin-perfect precision of the world class acrobatic artistry on display.

Set within the confines of a young girl’s imagination,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

DreamWorks Animation auditions for 'Kung Fu Panda International Touring Show'

Italian-Belgian theatre director Franco Dragone, the world’s most spectacular show creator is casting for a ground breaking arena spectacular based on Dreamworks animated films, "Kung Fu Panda". Dragone is currently holding United States open call auditions for the "Kung Fu Panda International Touring Show" in association with DreamWorks Animation. From the years 1985 to 1998 Franco Dragone would direct nearly all of Cirque du Soleil's most prestigious shows and played a significant role in developing Cirque du Soleil's distinctive merging of theater and circus performance. In the early 1990s Dragone's reputation grew with the production of "Nouvelle Expérience" and "Saltimbanco", nontraditional circus productions in which postmodern dance, music, and circus acrobatics were interlaced with a dreamlike narrative.
See full article at LA Acting Auditions »

Shania Twain Thinking Of Filling In For Celine Dion In Vegas While Performer Is On Break

Las Vegas, Nevada (X17online) - Celine Dion is back in Vegas headlining a new show at The Colosseum, but when she takes a break later this year, country superstar Shania Twain is thinking about filling in. John Meglen, president of Aeg, admits "those talks are ongoing." As for Celine, Meglen adds, "This is now the songs the fans want and the show they expect. The first show we presented was a collaborative -- part Franco Dragone -- but this is all Celine, 100 percent. She has transcended the level of superstar and moved on to become legendary." Dion's new show will pay tribute to old Hollywood while including her number one hits. The singer has sold more than 200 million albums to date. Shania Twain has yet to confirm whether she'll be filling in for Dion in Vegas. ShaniaTwain.com
See full article at x17online »

Dion Cancels Las Vegas Shows

  • WENN
Dion Cancels Las Vegas Shows
Celine Dion has cancelled the next five performances of her A New Day show and an appearance at the Billboard Music Awards because of a highly contagious respiration infection. The 38-year-old Grammy Award-winning singer is being treated for mycoplasma bronchitis, a contagious bacterial infection, and has been ordered to rest during her recovery. Performances of her show at Caesars Palace, which were created by former Cirque Du Soleil Artistic Director Franco Dragone, were cancelled from Wednesday through Sunday, after which Dion was scheduled to take a holiday break from the five-shows-a-week regimen before returning December 28. Dion also backed out of a scheduled appearance at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas on Monday. A spokesman for A New Day says ticket-holders will receive refunds or can book other show dates.

Dion Previews Vegas Show in Belgium

  • WENN
Dion Previews Vegas Show in Belgium
Canadian singing sensation Celine Dion previewed her spectacular Las Vegas show in Louviere, Belgium on Monday night. The singer, 34, and her producer, Belgian Franco Dragone told the world's media they were planning a Sin City show like no other, which begins in the Nevada city on March 25 and runs for three years. Celine enthuses, "It will be the beginning of a new adventure, of something incredible. I can't wait until the curtains rise. I'm so excited." The Grammy-winning artist is to sing nightly at Caesars Palace's new $100 million 4,000 seat Colosseum theater, built especially for Celine. Franco, who directed the Cirque Du Soleil's Las Vegas production O and Mystere, revealed the concert would involve theatre, dance and clowns in addition to Celine's singing. Franco says, "The story will be Celine. Our tableau will be built around her. Celine, she will dance, fly, she will do percussion instruments." Celine has been rehearsing with a cast of 60 in a secret studio in Dragone's hometown La Louviere over the past month. She adds, "I am very tense and stressed. I'm having the best time of my life right now, it is really amazing."

Film review: 'Alegria'

"Alegria" is a Spanish word meaning joy, elation and jubilation, and that's the defining characteristic of this film. Narratively, it could be described as early Fellini lite swathed in MTV-like compositions as a street mime goes through a physical and emotional rejuvenation after falling in love with a circus girl.

Well-received at the 10th annual Nortel Palm Springs International Film Festival, "Alegria"'s most joyous tents may well be on the festival circuit and big-city art houses, where its elliptical structure and abstract acrobatics may have its most receptive audience appeal.

Billed as "a film event inspired by the Cirque du Soleil," "Alegria" is not a traditional narrative, although it borrows heavily from "Oliver Twist" and perambulates around Fellini territory with its focus on outcasts and circus performers. In this high-wire saga, forlorn street mime Frac (Rene Bazinet) lays down on the train tracks to end it all but, amazingly, is saved by 11-year-old Momo (Clipper Miano), who takes him to his circus troupe. There, Frac experiences an immediate emotional resuscitation: He falls in love with lissome performer Giuletta (Julie Cox).

Indeed, so affectionately transparent are the film's Fellini trappings that it could easily be renamed "Giuletta of the Circus", not in small measure because Cox's lilting performance as the circus girl is, perhaps, the film's dramatic high point, while Frank Langella is captivating as a Fagan-like despot. Certainly to further address the nebulous narrative is to miss the essence of "Alegria" -- its essential excellencies and character come through its movements, colors and splendid costumes.

Director Franco Dragone, who has directed the Cirque du Soleil since 1985, has fashioned a swirling, entrancing film of visual treats. Like a multi-ring circus, there is always something going on in Dragone's lively frame, in part because of the expert technical contributions. Costume designer Dominique Lemieux's eye-popping plumery and production designer Ben Van Os' moody trimmings add to the viewing joy.

ALEGRIA

Overseas Filmgroup

Co-producers: Rudy Barichello, Stephane Reichel, Alexandre Heylen, Hans de Weers

Director: Franco Dragone

Screenwriter: Rudy Barichello

Director of photography: Pierre Mignot

Costume designer: Dominique Lemieux

Production designer: Ben Van Os

Editor: Jean-Francois Bergeron

Color/stereo

Cast:

Frac: Rene Bazinet

Fleur: Frank Langella

Giuletta: Julie Cox

Marcello: Heathcote Williams

Momo: Clipper Miano

Old Taps: Brian Dewhurst

Little Box: Jade Fafieanie

Deaf Clown: Sergei Chachelev

Running time -- 93 minutes

MPAA rating: PG

See also

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