12 APR 2019: In March two brand new Cirque du Soleil at Sea shows, SYMA and VARÉLIA, launched on board MSC Cruises’ new flagship, MSC Bellissima. The cruise line has revealed details of the inspiration and creative process behind these two original new shows along with first images of the spectacular performances.

Every element of each new Cirque du Soleil at Sea show is unique from the concept and storyline, the characters, the costumes and makeup through to the music, staging and sound effects.

The concepts are first developed by the experienced and talented creative team based at Cirque du Soleil’s international headquarters in Montreal. Following a rigorous casting process and intensive ideation workshops, the shows are then refined and brought to life on board the ship in the custom-built entertainment venue, the Carousel Lounge, designed to meet the specific needs of Cirque du Soleil.

The long-term partnership between MSC Cruises and Cirque du Soleil will result in eight original shows that can only be seen on board the Meraviglia class ships. Each ship will offer two brand new contrasting shows to deliver a truly unique and intimate experience for MSC Cruises guests.

SYMA is a fantastical odyssey into the heart of an imaginary world, and the search for a mysterious island inhabited by phantasmagorical creatures. Immersive video images, an original set design, bioluminescent lighting and acrobatic feats make SYMA an unforgettable show.

VARÉLIA is a tale of modern chivalry where love and courage triumph over the greatest divides. A medieval tale with a futuristic twist, VARÉLIA follows a classic story arc in a cartoonesque world which adds a humoristic touch. It features acrobatic feats, a laser show and an unique set design.

With these two new shows, Cirque du Soleil continues to push creative boundaries with the introduction of innovations in staging, makeup, costumes and performances.

Some of the highlights include:

• The Underwater Creatures characters in SYMA have ultraviolet iridescent makeup, which, along with parts of their costume, glow under special lights built into the custom-made Carousel Lounge

• The creative team have used video projection mapping for the first time in SYMA to project content onto tangible set elements and props on stage to add yet another visual element to the show. This technology enhances the guest experience by animating static objects and surfaces.

• The finale of VARÉLIA includes a breathtaking roller skating duospinning at incredibly high speeds while completing complex tricks. This, coupled with an aerial hoop duo, creates a spectacular floor-to-ceiling climax.

• Laser lights are used in VARÉLIA to create a futuristic and changing set design. They convey the theme and atmosphere of the show. With a strong focus on aesthetic principles the lasers create graphic figures and illusions where Cirque du Soleil at Sea artists can thrive.

Cirque du Soleil at Sea can be booked in advance at a reduced rate or whilst on board during the cruise for any remaining seats.

MSC Meraviglia was the first ship to debut the new Cirque du Soleil at Sea concept with the launch of the two shows VIAGGIO and SONOR in June 2017 and recently celebrated the 1,000th performance on board.

Work is already underway for the next shows for MSC Grandiosa, that will launch in November 2019.

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