This January Santa Monica welcomes back Cirque de Soleil. The critically acclaimed and family-friendly production of OVO opens at the Santa Monica Pier on January 20, 2012 for a limited engagement under Cirque de Soleil’s trademark blue-and-yellow Grand Chapiteau. Since its 2009 world premiere in Montreal, OVO has delighted over 2 million spectators in North America. Santa Monica will be the only Southern California stop for a Grand Chapiteau production in 2012.

Better known for its beaches and designer boutiques, Santa Monica has become something of a cultural mecca in recent years, boasting over 75 museums and art galleries, a dazzling array of public art and street sculpture, and a spirit uniquely suited to Cirque de Soleil’s carnivalesque and sunny brand of entertainment.

Written, directed and choreographed by Deborah Colker, OVO has been described as “non-stop riot of energy and movement.” What else would you except from an insect-themed show set to Brazilian vibes? Signature Cirque elements—acrobatics, dexterity, grace—are revisited in this whimsical tale about dancing fleas and scarabs. Blending elements of samba, Rio funk, samba-reggae, and other Brazilian rhythms, the bouncy tribal score weaves in the buzz and chirr of real insects. The resulting mix whips OVO’s airy characters into joyful anarchy. Small children will cheer the antics of Flippo the Foreigner and the Ladybug, two of Cirque de Soleil’s more charming creations.

The venue itself couldn’t be better. In addition to plenty of California sunshine and sea air, the world-famous Santa Monica Pier offers shopping, restaurants, and a variety of entertainments such as Pacific Park amusement park, Heal The Bay Aquarium, an historic 1922 Merry-Go-Round, and an old-fashioned soda fountain.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit

Our hotel experts recommend Shutters on the Beach, Hotel Oceana, and the Fairmont Miramar Hotel.

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