Cirque du Soleil Raises the Big Top

While a forklift's stereo blared Queen's "We Are the Champions / We Will Rock You," Cirque du Soleil raised the grand chapiteau (big top) on its production OVO today at the Sam Houston Race Park. Cirque construction supervisors barked orders in English and French to the assembled 60-plus crew, a grizzled mix of tough French-Canadians (male and female) and hired locals.

Technically, the 66 foot-high "tent" had already been hoisted. Today, the big top's edges were elevated so that equipment and stages could be loaded inside.

OVO, which follows a loose story of insect romance, interrupted by the usual spectacular circus acts, premieres March 10 and runs through April 10 at the race park. Tickets are available starting March 6 at or by phone at 1-800-450-1480.

Click ahead for more photos.

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Troy Schulze
Contact: Troy Schulze