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M83 Composing a Cirque du Soleil Show Makes Perfect Sense

Anthony Gonzalez, leader of exuberant French synth-pop band M83, is the composer and musical director of a new production from equally exuberant aerialists Cirque du Soleil, the company announced today. The new production is called VOLTA, its logo looks like an EDM festival, and according to press materials, it’s inspired by “the adventurous spirit that fuels the culture of action sports.”

VOLTA is the 41st original production from Cirque, and if it seems like there are way more of these shows than you can keep track of, you’d be right—the Montreal-based company currently has 20 simultaneous shows. The synopsis of the latest production goes like this:

WAZ, a popular gameshow host, has lost touch with his inner self in the pursuit of fame, pulling others in the trap of instant glory. But as doubt sets in, WAZ is enlightened by childhood memories as he encounters “free spirits” who open doors to his inner soul he has long kept shut. On his high-voltage search for meaning, will WAZ find the courage to relinquish his fame, reconnect with his true self, and shine bright?

The pairing is a little curious (sorry—KURIOS), but on further thought it makes a lot of sense: M83’s music celebrates childlike wonder at the world, exactly the kind of elaborate, colorful fantasy Cirque du Soleil creates through acrobatics, choreography, and costuming. Gonzalez’s dynamic, arena-filling sound is ideally suited for a multidimensional theater production. It’s also not music that really requires lyrics, meaning the show can be more easily translated internationally.

M83 isn’t nearly as big a name as Cirque’s past musician-centric productions, like shows celebrating Elvis and Michael Jackson, but that frees up the writers to tell us the story of whoever WAZ is, I guess. Bring on Cirque du Soleil’s STARÁ ft. Sigur Rós and Cirque du Soleil’s REALÏZE ft. the Flaming Lips.

VOLTA opens April 20, 2017 at Cirque du Soleil’s home base in Montreal. Advance tickets are available here.