World-famous Cirque du Soleil staged their first show in Saudi Arabia on Sunday with a dazzling display of high-wire thrills.
The mega show, attended by 27,000 people staged in a sports stadium, was designed exclusively for the 88th National Day of Saudi Arabia, and was one of its biggest one-off productions ever, according to the group.
Cirque du Soleil produced a performance for the first time in #SaudiArabia designed exclusively for #SaudiNationalDay2018, and held at the King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh for a live and televised audience. #Saudi88 pic.twitter.com/SO3IB5FZC7— CIC Saudi Arabia (@CICSaudi) September 23, 2018
The acrobatic troupe performed for one night at King Fahd stadium in Riyadh, and was attended by 27,000 Saudis. The show was also aired live by MBC1.
A twitter user tweeted a picture of her TV screen saying “can’t believe that its airing live and from KSA”
In typical Cirque du Soleil fashion, the performers slithered up the ropes, swaying, twisting and doing mid-air acrobatics.
The acrobats pulled off their mastery of moves on suspended poles and rotating ladders.
More than 80 performers in 250 colorful costumes tailor-made to fit local traditions took to the stage, dazzling people with fire playing and unicycle tricks.
People took to social media describing their amazement from the spectacle.
They added contemporary and hip-hop dancing, motorcycle stunts, and for first time a free-flying Hoverboard illusion.
A fireworks spectacle capped the show, amazing the audience. One tweep stated: “The fireworks took me back 30 years, I feel like a child again.”
The announcement of the show was first made in Los Angeles in April during Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman’s visit to the United States.
Live and free
One Saudi took to twitter and thanked the new government saying: “Who would believe that what was impossible last year, would be live and for free tonight. Thank you Entertainment Authority.”
ما كان بالأمس حلم— د. سعود آل سليم (@SaudSleem) September 23, 2018
بات اليوم حقيقه ..
من كان يصدق قبل سنتين ان #سيرك_دو_سوليه ستقدم عروض في الرياض ...
هذه العروض عالمياً لا تقدم إلا لعلية القوم ..
اليوم تقدم للشعب السعودي بالمجان ...
شكراً هيئة الترفيه .. pic.twitter.com/0vDqpgktkk
In February, Saudi Arabia's General Entertainment Authority (GEA) announced it will stage more than 5,000 festivals and concerts in 2018, double the number last year.
National Day was celebrated across the kingdom on Sunday with concerts, festivals and 990,000 firework shows took place across 20 cities, including Riyadh.
Iconic buildings in Riyadh were decked up green light and stereos blared patriotic songs as celebrators raced through the streets in cars decorated with the Saudi flag.