Review: IRIS from Cirque du Soleil – A Journey Through the World of Cinema

We were excited to come out and cover the Red Carpet event for IRIS at the Kodak Theatre as well as be invited to come to a press preview of this new show a few days later.

At the Red Carpet event, we got to speak with Danny Elfman about the challenges he had with creating the music for IRIS:

We also spoke with the writer/director Philippe Decoufle – he talks about the journey over the past 3 years in developing this show:

Here’s a video clip that shows a little of the amazing choreography of a Cirque du Soleil Show – IRIS “on the Rooftop”

Creating the show – it starts with music

Transforming the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles for IRIS

Our Review of IRIS

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

There are 23 Cirque du Soleil shows around the world, i’ve seen seven of them (La Nouba, Mystere, Dralion, O, Criss Angel Believe, Kooza) and as of tonight, Iris, their newest show. Their shows are all awesome, by the very definition of the word, though to varying degrees. O, I saw in it’s 3rd year, and to this day I have never seen anything as monumental. The other shows I’d seen, all were second year and beyond, all very well greased machines, it was nice to finally see a freshman Cirque show like Iris, because there were still a few visible seams and loose strings here and there.

Tonight’s show, one of the trapeze artists missed a mark, and was stranded midair for a couple of beats, when she got back on her swing, she sat out for a little, leading me to think she had injured herself midair, but just then she rejoined the other aerialists for the rest of the routine. That was the most noticeable moment.

Other than a few shaky human pyramids, and a landing here or that that didn’t exactly Stick It. I knew there was no imminent danger for anyone, and when the spotters came out for a few of the more ambitious acrobatic feats, it was obvious that the performers were running at the edge, but weren’t 100% hitting their stride, that made Iris the most human Cirque show i’d ever seen. And I liked that.

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

IRIS - Cirque du Soleil

Though some of the scenes felt too long. The running story was also left to the wayside a bit. The first half, I found myself analyzing the characters and their symbolism in ‘The World of Cinema’ and i had to stop, because i was obviously over thinking it.

The costumes were great, of two of the clowns, one reminded me of a young Steve Martin, dressed like a Matador in a Tuxedo, and another reminded me of Martin Short, just in a dance bit though. Though the clowns disappeared in the messy cacophonous numbers that the second act was full of, where everyone was on stage, huge choreographed dance numbers being upstaged by aerialists, I was sitting in the Mezzanine and didn’t know where to look. This works well for Believe, but the key to a Magic show is misdirection, which was an unfortunate side effect for Iris. Misdirection. The show progresses from the early days of cinema, with the props evolving, too subtly. But the tone changes with the show as well. Like the trapeze artist, the show missed a mark.

But after a few weeks of notes, i have no doubt that everyone will find and maintain their footing. I’d like to see the show again in six months to see how it progressed, as it was obviously still finding itself.

For More Information and to Get Your Tickets – Click Here  


Previews begin July 2011 for IRIS A Journey through the World of Cinema(™), the first permanent production from Cirque du Soleil® in Los Angeles and taking up residence exclusively at the world-renowned Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.

IRIS is a lyrical, fanciful, kinetic foray through the world of cinema bringing together dance, acrobatics, live video, and filmed sequences and takes spectators on a fantastic voyage through the history of cinema and its genres.

Featuring 72 performers, 200 costumes, 8,300 square feet of floor surface, 174 loudspeakers, 603 lighting features, 20 video projectors, and 166,000 watts of sound, IRIS joins the other Cirque du Soleil resident productions in scale, scope and size.

IRIS is written and directed by French director-choreographer Philippe Decouflé, whose credits include opening and closing ceremonies of the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. IRIS features music by Grammy® and Emmy Award® winner and Academy Award® nominee Danny Elfman.