The Cirque du Soliel is releasing a new show in October, inspired by the talent of Barcelona star Lionel Messi.
Messi is a dribbling artist so it is no wonder that the creative artistic director of Cirque du Soleil, Sean McKeown, has been inspired by the Argentina legend to create Messi10, his company's first soccer-themed show.
"He is humble, he is a regular person and we are regular people too, so for us its an inspiration to see someone with such talent to maintain such humility," McKeown said.
A total of 46 performers have already begun working on the show; dancers in the rehearsal room are preparing a choreography inspired by Messi's speed, while others train with ropes in the main studio at the Cirque du Soleil's main headquarters in Montreal, Canada.
Sound technicians are testing the giant screen and the costume designer is taking notes before heading to the first floor, where the fabrics are made in a huge sewing workshop.
"We took a lot of inspiration from the world of soccer and infused it into the concept of the show," the show's director Mukhtar O.S. Mukhtar said.
"I will give you an example, we have one character in our show which is our comic character, which is the referee, " Mukhtar explained, "Now in the world of soccer the referee is usually the one controlling the game, he has control of everything, he can see everything, but in our show, our referee loses control of everything."
Aerial rope specialist Nacho Ricci explained that, "Anyone can get excited when Messi scores a goal, just like getting excited when a circus artist gets to do something that seems impossible."
"In each scene, someone becomes a 10. Because we all can be 10 at something," related Ricci, "When I am No.10, I feel a great amount of responsibility. I feel like they pass the ball to me and tell me, there you have it and now you have to score. It is your turn, we trust you."
Ricci equated circus performing to playing soccer, stressing that "The circus is pure emotion, and so is soccer." EFE-EPA