Cirque du Soleil returns to Atlantic Station this fall and winter to present 'ECHO', with performances scheduled for five days a week until Jan. 21. Photo by Janelle Ward/The Atlanta Voice

The cast of Cirque du Soleil has returned to Atlanta this month to present ‘ECHO’, a two-hour-long audio-visual spectacle featuring innovative technology, catchy live music and examples of the company’s iconic displays of acrobatic performance.

First opening to Atlantans this past Sunday, Nov. 5, the international touring troupe will perform for 11 weeks under the Big Top in Atlantic Station, introducing Cirque du Soleil’s newest story conveying a message of hope, harmony and curiosity to audiences five nights a week.

Thursday’s crowd laughed, cheered and clapped for the show’s eclectic cast of characters at the 7:30 p.m. showing, consisting largely of families young and old, big and small.

Photo by Janelle Ward/The Atlanta Voice

‘ECHO’ explores the symbiotic relationship between people and animals through music, impressive set designs and creative choreography. The ensemble—a majority of which portrays different types of animals in the show—were energetic and smiling all throughout the performance, relying on their extensive physical training and acting skills to bring their characters to life.

Clad in colorful costumes and intricate makeup, ‘ECHO’s company of actors put on a light-hearted yet thrilling performance that was captivating from beginning to end.

On a circular stage, performers toyed with concepts of physics and musicality that make the show interesting from all angles of visibility, even appearing more interactive than Cirque du Soleil’s previous production in Atlanta, ‘Kurios: Cabinet of Curiosities’.

The cast often engaged with audience members around the venue during Thursday’s show, especially after successfully landing difficult stunts. Comedic breaks in the production encouraged participation from the crowd, while buying crew members time to change sets in between larger acts.

The audience was happy to return the ensemble’s energy with applause throughout the night, which clearly motivated the artists to perform even stronger as the show carried on.

‘ECHO’ also features strong representation of Black and Brown talent in the live entertainment sphere.

The troupe’s members of color particularly stood out onstage, the brightly hued makeup and costumes accentuating their darker skin tones underneath the white stage lights.

Choreographic elements of the show also highlight these performers’ diverse scope of physical talent, which ranges from agility to flexibility to extraordinary strength.

One of the most popular acts of the evening, an acrobatic duo that performed a series of complicated flips in an impressive display of partner work, brought much of the crowd to its feet not even 30 minutes into the show.

The Big Top appeared to host a nearly full crowd for ‘ECHO’s first Thursday night production, a promising sign as the troupe begins to wrap up its first full week of performances.

The cast will put on its final show on Jan. 21 of next year.