Returning to the city where it made its first U.S. tour debut more than 20 years ago, Cirque du Soleil will begin a new production in Santa Monica in October.

Cirque du Soleil chose Santa Monica as its first United States tour destination over 20 years ago and Cirque founders say they view the beach community as the vehicle that launched the small touring company into the world-renowned brand it has become today. The organization has chosen to celebrate its 25th birthday by returning to Santa Monica.

“Santa Monica is excited to welcome back Cirque du Soleil on their 25th birthday”, said Misti Kerns, president/chief executive officer of Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau. “The (Santa Monica) Pier played a major role in Cirque’s success, and it is wonderful to see them reunited.

“It is an incredible year for our city culturally, with the return of Cirque du Soleil in its 25th year coinciding with the Santa Monica Pier’s centennial anniversary. This is the perfect way to commemorate these two major milestones, and we plan to celebrate all year long.”

The Cirque du Soleil production Kooza is scheduled to run in Santa Monica from October to December, with final dates and show times to be announced soon. Kooza tells the story of “The Innocent,” a loner who is searching for his place in the world. The story is told through a combination of two circus traditions — acrobatic performance and the art of clowning.

All of Cirque’s shows are based on concepts different from those of standard circuses, with a mix of circus arts, street entertainment, outrageous costumes and original music, says a spokesman, and Cirque does not use animals in the ring.

“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,” said Daniel Lamarre, Cirque du Soleil’s president and CEO. “We are very thankful to everyone who has made this desire closer to becoming a reality.”

The show is set to the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Pier.

Information, www.santamonica.com/cirque-du-soleil/.

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