Cirque du Soleil's 'Iris' begins previews at the Kodak Theatre
Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil's latest spectacle, "Iris," began previews this week at the Kodak Theatre, prior to the show's official September opening. Its producers hope that "Iris" (pronounced "ee-REES," in the French-Canadian manner) will have a 10-year run in the theater that hosts the annual Academy Awards ceremony, and that it will lure Angelenos as well as the droves of tourists strolling along the Walk of Fame outside the Hollywood & Highland retail complex.
The theme of "Iris" might be described as the magic of cinema in its purest form -- the interaction of light, sound and the motion of human bodies. Its director, Philippe Decoufle, is a Paris-based modern dance choreographer who as a kid was a huge fan of Tex Avery's animation. The show's composer, Danny Elfman, is a veteran film score composer ("Batman," "Alice in Wonderland") and former frontman and composer for the L.A. alt-rock band Oingo Boingo.
We spoke with the creative duo earlier this week at Elfman's L.A. studio about "Iris," movies, circuses, working in Hollywood and how Cirque, now a global entertainment juggernaut, still manages to keep the human element at the forefront of its shows.
-- Reed Johnson
Photo: Composer Danny Elfman, top, and choreographer Philippe Decoufle photographed at Elfman's studio in Los Angeles. Credit: Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times