Cirque du Soleil Wiki

Zarkana was a touring/residential Cirque du Soleil stage production written and directed by François Girard. In 2011, Zarkana began as a touring show and was converted to a resident show in Las Vegas in late 2012 replacing Viva Elvis at the Aria Resort and Casino. Zarkana premiered on June 29, 2011 at the Radio City Music Hall in New York City, New York. Zarkana had it's final performance on April 30, 2016 at the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

The title of Zarkana is a combination of the words "bizarre" and "arcane".[1]


The story of Zarkana takes place in abandoned theater where the main character Zark was a successful magician many years ago. Since then, he has lost his magic and his stage assistant Lia. Zark goes through the theater encountering in search of his stage assistant Lia and reignite his magic.[1]

Set & Technical Information[]


The stage for Zarkana is set in an abandoned theater that has overgrowth. The set contains three arches that reflect the Mutant Ladies of the show. The inner most arch represents Tarantula; the spider lady, the second inner arch represents Mandragora; the plant and ivy lady, and the outer arch represents Kundalini; the snake lady. Behind the inner most arch contains a 90 ft by 40 ft light wall upstage and the LED arch made of of 118 separate panels.[2]

Set designer Stéphane Roy was inspired by the Art Nouveau moment and the works of Antoni Gaudí, Gustav Klimt , and René Lalique when creating the overall stage design and stage elements.[2]


Final Characters

  • Lia: The lost assistant and love interest of Zark.
  • The Mutant Ladies: Four women insided the abandoned theater who try to seduce Zark and stop him from finding Lia.
    • The Pickled Lady: A result of the Sleepy Clown falling into The Mad Scientist vat. She has long wavy hair and six arms.
    • Mandragora: The incarnation of ivy and plants growing throughout the theater.
    • Kundalini: A snake women who tries to use her charms on Zark.
    • Tarantula: A spider queen who lives high above the stage in the abandoned theater.
  • The Movers: 15 spirits of the theater that Zark used to perform in.
    • Ti-Boss: Leader of the Movers. She is a little girl with a whip.
    • Chameleon Convict: An convict with the number "1379".
    • The Ballerina: A white ballerina.
    • The Rag Doll: A living doll that has blue buttons for eyes.
    • Mardi Gras: A white clown with a bowler hat.
    • Sleepy Clown: A white clown in pajamas that carries a doll with her.
    • Le Pierrot: An all white clown dressed in the style of the stock character from commedia dell'arte.
    • The Porter: A Hotel Porter who has a bell on his shoulder.
    • The Apprentice: Assistant to the Mad Scientist
    • The Mad Scientist: A scientist who is dedicated to experimenting. He created the Pickled Lady after The Sleepy Clown fell into his vat.
    • The Chinese Cook: A Chinese chief welding two machetes.
    • The Preacher: A priest dressed in white.
    • Dame Plume: An actress from the 1940s.
    • The Bride: A white bride carrying a bouquet of flowers.
    • The Aviator: A white pilot with aviator goggles.
  • The Jovians: Extraterrestrial creatures who live on the planet Jovia. They perform during the Cyr wheel and aerial hoop act.
  • The Oracle: A seer who communicates with the past and the present. She performs during the sand painting act.

Retired Characters

  • Zark: A magician returning to the theater he once performed in long ago in search of his assistant Lia and the return of his magic.

Costume Design[]

Costume designer Alan Hranitelj was inspired by the American circus sideshows from the 1920s, 1930s, and the Art Deco Movement when creating the costumes for Zarkana. In addition to the look and feel of the eras, Hranitelj was inspired by the works of Joan Miró and Russian/French designer Erté.[3]

For the color palette of Zarkana, The characters of Zark and Lia have a color palette of predominantly red and pink to symbolize their love for each other.[3]


  • Preshow: The Movers interact with the audience.
  • Opening: The abandoned theater comes to life as The Movers wake up.
  • Juggling: An artist comes out from a suitcase and juggles on various surfaces.
  • Roman Ladder: As the Sleepy Clown drops her doll, an artist performs on a Roman Ladder to give it back to her.
  • Interlude: The Vat: The Sleepy Clown open's the Mad Scientist's and accidentally drops her doll. She jumps right in to retrieve it.
  • Aerial Strap Duo: Two artists perform an aerial straps duo act.
  • Flag Manipulation: A group of performers juggles flags.
  • Russian Bar: An artist performs on a Russian Bar.
  • Clown Act: Party Blower: The clowns play with a party blower.
  • High Wire: A group of artists perform on a high wire as a swinging ball of fire swings across the rope.
  • Clown Act: Cannon: The clowns set up a cannon and are shot to the Planet of the Jovians.
  • Cyr Wheel / Aerial Hoops: After landing on the planet of the Jovians, the Jovians performs on Cyr Wheels and Aerial Hoops.
  • Clown Act: Tassels: One of the clowns shows off his tassels.
  • Sand Painting: An artist makes numerous sand paintings on stage.
  • Interlude: Singing: an artist comes out and sings a refrain of Zarkana's theme.
  • Flying Trapeze: As Tarantula sings in the background, a group of artists performs on the flying trapeze.
  • Clown Act: Accordions: The clowns play with two accordions.
  • Wheel of Death: Two artists perform on the Wheel of Death.
  • Interlude: Lightbulb: One of the clowns mesmerizes The Movers with a lightbulb.
  • Hand Balancing: An artist performs a hand-balancing act.
  • Clown Act: Electric Chair: The clowns play with an electric chair. They invite an audience member to the stage.
  • Parade: The Movers move the vat across the stage. The Sleepy Clown comes out of the vat showing she is safe.
  • Banquine: A group of performers performs a banquine act.
  • Finale: The cast of Zarkana comes out and takes a final bow.

  • Aerial Hoops Duo: Two performers performs an Aerial hoops act.
  • Bed ( Contemporary Dance / Parallel Bars ): A woman performs a contemporary dance on a bed. The top frame of the bed acts as parallel bars.
  • Chair Balancing: An artist balances on a stack of chairs.
  • Icarian Games: Two performers do an Icarian Games act.
  • Rola Bola: An artist performs on a Rola Bola.
  • Roman Ladder Duo: As the Rag Doll drops her doll, two artists perform on two Roman Ladders to give it back to her.

  • Opening: Zark returns to the abandoned theater to see where Lia is. The theater comes to life as The Movers wake up.
  • Finale: Zark and Lia reunite in the end. The cast takes a final bow.
  • Interlude: The Pickled Lady: The Sleepy Clown open's the Mad Scientist's and accidentally drops her doll. She jumps right in to retrieve it. She then transforms into THe Pickled Lady.
  • Interlude: The Pickled Lady Parade: As the Pickled Lady moves across the stage, Zark sings a duet with her.
  • Spanish Web Duo: A couple performs a Spanish Web Duet.

  • Music[]

    The music for Zarkana was composed by Nick Littlemore under the musical guidance of Elton John.

    Accidents & Incidents[]

    • On November 1, 2013, during the 7:00 PM. performance, Junior Delgado[4], a Wheel of Death artist, slipped and fell from the Wheel of Death hitting the stage floor. The performer was rushed to the University Medical Center in Las Vegas for treatment.[5][6] An investigation by OSHA was commenced resulting in the Wheel of Death act being temporarily removed.[7][8]
    • On February 19, 2016 during the 9:30 PM performance, a performer during the Wheel of Death act slipped and fell hitting the stage floor. The artist was rushed to the University Medical Center for treatment.[9]

    Touring Schedules[]

    The following color boxes indicate the region of each performance:
      EU  Europe   NA  North America   SA  South and Central America   AP  Asia/Pacific   OC  Oceania   AF  Africa

    Arena Tour

    2011 - 2012 Schedules

    2011 Schedule

      NA  New York City, NY - From June 9 to June 26, 2011 (Soft Opening)
      NA  New York City, NY - From June 29 to October 8, 2011 (Show Premiere)
      EU  Madrid, ES - From November 9 to January 1, 2012

    2012 Schedule

      EU  Moscow, RU - From February 4 to April 8, 2012
      NA  New York City, NY - From June 9 to September 2, 2012





    Concept Art



    Behind The Scenes

    The Art of Science

    Related Videos


    1. 1.0 1.1 Press Releases. Retrieved from
    2. 2.0 2.1 Zarkana: Set and Video Content. (n.d.). Retrieved from
    3. 3.0 3.1 Zarkana Costumes. (2012). Retrieved from
    4. Katsilometes, J. (2013, November 2). 'Zarkana' artist injured after slipping from 'Wheel of Death'. Retrieved from
    5. Slivka, S. (2017, February 23). Zarkana performer survives fall in Friday night show. Retrieved from
    6. Cirque du Soleil performer falls in 'Wheel of Death' during Las Vegas show. (2013, November 2). Retrieved from
    7. Katsilometes, J. (2013, November 6). OSHA investigating 'Zarkana' accident; Strip entertainers boost LVA; Lacey Schwimmer returns to the stage. Retrieved from
    8. Retrieved from
    9. Cirque du Soleil performer falls in 'Wheel of Death' during Las Vegas show. (2013, November 2). Retrieved from

    External Links[]