Back to all articles

Cirque Du Soleil Chooses MasterTug for a Greater Performance

Cirque Du Soleil

An electric tug from MasterMover is enabling Cirque du Soleil in China to safely and efficiently move 20,000 kg of scenery equipment across the stage in its new state-of-the-art theatre in Hangzhou.

Cirque du Soleil is one of the largest theatrical producers in the world. Their spectacular performances have been seen in more than 40 countries and have reached an audience of nearly 90 million.

The new Chinese venue has been built to host nearly 1,500 spectators and will be the home of the circus company’s first resident show.

The Application 

The theatre company were looking for a solution that would allow the flexibility of having one piece of equipment that could move various-sized scenery elements whilst being able to blend into the background during the performance.

In this instance, MasterMover was specified due to our local support and regional experience in China. Cirque Du Soleil’s application required the movement of a 15,000kg ‘grotto’ on a v-groove track. V-groove rails have a much higher rolling resistance when compared to standard flanged rails, and their design makes it difficult to control loads during movement.

The team at Cirque Du Soleil also highlighted an interchangeable requirement and they wanted a solution that could be used on loads other than just the Grotto. The driving force behind this requirement was in the rare instance where there was a mechanical failure on stage, they wanted the machine to be able to go on the stage to move the broken down items without disrupting the live show.

The Process 

Due to the bespoke nature of the application, MasterMover carried out a thorough evaluation to highlight all of Cirque Du Soleil's technical requirements from the offset. During this process, it was highlighted that in order to keep the load secure on the V-grooved rails, the machines would need a fixed mast assembly. MasterMover modified the machine to incorporate this, which allows operators to safely drive the machine in a fixed straight-line movement.


The Solution 

With the operation being linear, MasterMover provided Cirque Du Soleil with a wireless remote-control option, which enabled the operator to position themselves around the load while it was in motion to gain clear visibility. In line with this, MasterMover also programmed the remote to work on a bespoke frequency to ensure it could work alongside all other on-site equipment without interference. Cirque Du Soleil had concerns over the control of the load and the risk of damage while being moved. The two-speed selector switch that comes as standard with the MT2000+ meant that this risk was removed, operators could reduce the speed where precise movements were required. 

The key takeaway for Cirque Du Soleil in this instance was the tailored approach to the application. MasterMover’s MT2000+ was painted black so that it could be used both on and off stage without drawing the crowd’s attention. The flexibility of the machine also meant that it could be used for moving other wheeled loads within the 20,000kg capacity by simply attaching our unique coupling plate.

The MT2000+ is the perfect choice to move scenery at the theatre in different weights and sizes. With a bespoke black shade enabling it to match the background of the set, and the AC motor ensuring virtually no noise is heard as the movements are made during the performance.

After receiving their bespoke MT2000+ at their facility in Hangzhou and testing its' capabilities, Cirque Du Soleil  decided to purchase another exact replica to work alongside their existing unit.

MasterMover has a proven track record of delivering custom solutions to unique material handling problems - spanning a wide range of industries. 



Interested in learning more?

Interested in learning more? Contact us to discuss how electric tugs can drive safe and efficient load movement within your industry.