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Cirque du Soleil returning to Santa Monica Pier

January 29, 2009 |  1:19 pm

KoozaCirque du Soleil is returning this year to the Santa Monica Pier, where the troupe first pitched its tent in 1987.

American audiences got their first look at the Quebec troupe that year in a Little Tokyo parking lot as part of the Los Angeles Festival. It soon returned to the area in a run called We Reinvent the Circus on the pier. Thus was born a Cirque factory that has spun off countless incarnations, combining inventive acrobatics with post-modern clowning.  But it's been 10 years since its last visit to the Pier.

Saying it had resolved traffic and parking issues, the Santa Monica City Council voted this week to allow Cirque to return to the Pier from Oct. 16 through Dec. 20 with its touring production, "Kooza."

Daniel Lamarre, Cirque du Soleil's president and CEO said, “It has long been our desire that Santa Monica be the site to which Cirque du Soleil returns with its touring shows when we visit the greater L.A. area."

The return engagement coincides with two anniversaries this year: the Pier's 100th and Cirque du Soliel's 25th.

The Santa Monica run could be followed up with a stop in Orange County, as Culture Monster reported in November.

-- Sherry Stern

Photo: "Kooza," Cirque de Soleil