Cirque du Soleil has already changed the face of entertainment for Las Vegas and the image of just what should be under the big top. Now, it has taken to the digital universe and is offering a free Ka App for the iPad.
The app has photos of characters from the show as well as behind-the-scene images and sketches of the shows from the designers; videos of the arduous make-up process, G4 TV promotional clips and the Ka performance at Comic-Con in San Diego; and the Cirque Club, a membership that offers exclusive offers and updates, including the chance to win Cirque du Soleil Ka Tickets. Now, the app also provides another way to obtain tickets of course, with an option to purchase them.
Cirque du Soleil developed the marketing app with Mobile Roadie, a global app platform. Just as the Cirque productions have more than enough action on the stage to make any Cirque du Soleil show superior to the Circus’s of old, the app is superior to others thanks to those extras. It is free of course and will likely be the first of many Cirque apps for shows in Las Vegas and around the globe. It will be available on the iPhone and Android in the next few months.
No, Cirque’s Ka is not embarking on a journey in microeconomics. They are not rearranging their management style, though that would certainly be an interesting business model. Cirque du Soleil Ka tickets are still being sold for two shows a day, Tuesday through Saturday, at the Cirque du Soleil Theater in the MGM Grand Las Vegas.
Rather, Cirque’s Ka will be performing opening night at Comic-Con in San Diego. The cotemporary circus company has apparently begun a tradition of accentuating major tech and geek events. Cirque du Soleil created an original show for the E3 convention in Los Angeles last year, aiding Microsoft’s introduction of Project Natal (later to be known as Kinect for Xbox 360). This year presumably Ka is just going to be an additional attraction to open the world famous convention for comic and science fiction fans from all over the world.
Ka is going vertical quite literally though. The Las Vegas show, famous for its moveable stage powered by hydraulics never quite goes the full 90 degrees, but the performers will be working on defying gravity for the July 21st opening night at the San Diego Convention Center. Cirque du Soleil Ka will be re-enacting the final fight scene from the Las Vegas production on the exterior walls of Petco Park. Those walls are a full 90 degrees, so these acrobatic performers will be pushing themselves to the limit to appear standing and running horizontally on the vertical platform.
That platform will have the same three dimensional graphics of the Vegas show at the MGM Grand, so geek culture is getting a little Vegas treatment. Obviously, this means the fight scene will be outdoors and it will be before the biggest crowd ever to witness any Ka scene. The circus company normally performs to a couple thousand, but July 21, 2011 they will wow tens of thousands of self-described geeks and nerds.
It appears Cirque du Soleil as an entertainment company is casting a wider net, aligning itself with major events as well as its resident and traveling production. Of course, this is a marketing ploy but let’s face it, it is quite an astounding and bold one considering the cost of such a move. The Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil Ka show reportedly cost $220 million to produce. I am sure this performance comes in at a very small fraction of the price, but it certainly is not going to be cheap (even with a giant wall already in place).
Ka itself is a boundary pushing experiment for Cirque. Most Cirque du Soleil productions have a loose story with more emphasis placed on the acrobatics and symbolism than the plot. Ka makes the plot, that of a brother and sister set of imperial twins set down a path of self discovery to explore conflict and love and fire’s ability to illuminate and destroy.