Cirque du Soleil will return to the Santa Monica Pier with OVO, opening Friday, Jan. 20 for a limited engagement under Cirque’s trademark blue and yellow big top.

OVO, meaning “egg” in Portuguese, will take audiences into a colorful ecosystem teeming with life, where insects work, eat, crawl, flutter, play, fight and look for love in a non-stop riot of energy and movement, according to Cirque du Soleil. The show is directed by Deborah Colker, the first female director at Cirque du Soleil.

When a mysterious egg appears in their midst, the insects are awestruck and intensely curious about this iconic object that represents the enigma and cycles of their lives.

Since its world-premiere in Montreal in 2009, OVO has been seen by over two million spectators in more than 15 different cities in North America. Santa Monica will be the only Southern California stop for the big top production in 2012.

The cast is comprised of 55 performing artists from 14 countries specializing in many acrobatic acts. One highlight of OVO is the stunning flying trapeze act, in which six flyers soar 40 feet in the air, making this the biggest act of its kind to ever be presented under a big top by Cirque du Soleil, a Cirque spokesperson said. It combines many circus disciplines, including banquine, Russian swing and swinging chair.

The finale features 20 artists running, jumping and leaping up a 24-foot vertical wall.

Tickets are available online at: