By Crystal Harrell

From August 31 through September 3, Cirque du Soleil’s Corteo will grace Acrisure Arena with an awe-inspiring baroque circus show filled with dazzling visuals and majestic aerial choreography sure to be a one-of-a-kind experience.

Corteo follows the story of Mauro the clown, as he envisions that his own burial will take place amid a carnival atmosphere and be attended by tender angels. The show contrasts the grand with the intimate, the silly with the tragic, and the beauty of perfection with the appeal of imperfection. It also emphasizes the strength and vulnerability of the clown as well as his knowledge and generosity to represent the aspect of humanity that exists in every person. Corteo is guided through a timeless ceremony in which fantasy teases reality with music, which is both poetic and mischievous.

Corteo features a variety of innovative acrobatic equipment elements that were invented at Cirque and designed to mesh seamlessly with the set design. The “Paradis” act brings together two circus skills that have never been combined before: The Korean Cradle and the Trampo-net (a combination of trampoline and safety net). The artists are thrown between three Korean Cradle stations placed at an unprecedented distance from each other, and rebound off the Trampo-net, which is 98 feet long. Coachella Valley Weekly got the chance to speak with Inna Teslenko, Corteo artist and acrobat of the Paradis act, about her role in the show and getting to perform in Palm Springs.


CV Weekly: Thanks so much for joining us, Inna.

Inna: Thank you for talking with me.

CV Weekly: Let’s start with some background on your career. How long have you been performing?

Inna: I started in 2008 and only stopped when we had a quarantine break during the pandemic, so for about 13 years. I really love to share my energy when I’m on stage and receiving the same from the audience.

CV Weekly: What’s your favorite part about performing in front of a crowd?

Inna: I love to be up front and center when we perform. I just love to see people sometimes. It’s fun to see the faces they make when they think something dangerous is about to happen or how they cover their eyes. That’s my adrenaline.

CV Weekly: Do you ever get nervous performing those stunts?

Inna: You know, maybe for some premiere days because it’s very important for us and sometimes when we put in new tricks in the act, it can be stressful. When we are doing something new, we all seem more focused, and everybody is more aware that something new is happening. That’s the only stressful part. But day after day when you do it, you feel more comfortable and confident. So that stress leaves after that.

CV Weekly: What are you looking forward to the most about performing in Corteo?

Inna: There is a trick I do, which looks like I’m flying over, but like in a standing position. That’s one of the biggest tricks that we do and I always feel very excited. We visited Palm Springs to do a photo shoot for the show, and I loved the desert. I can’t wait to come back and show the audience what we can do.

CV Weekly: What’s it like performing in a group and not just as an individual?

Inna: I’m performing within a group act. We are 10 people, so a lot of action happens, and we need to be aware about everything that’s going on around us. We spend a lot of time together practicing and just understanding the moves. We always try to do walk-throughs of the act together, because we try to change them up every two weeks. So every two weeks is something new—a new position, new dance, different sides. You need to communicate with each person because you need to be aware that everybody knows what we need to do. We even create a lineup and post that before the show.

CV Weekly: What do you hope for in the future of your career?

Inna: I hope I’m going to continue doing what I do — maybe later as an artist, maybe like a coach. There are opportunities to combine artist and coach positions and we have an opportunity to do coaching on the rotation jobs.

CV Weekly: Thank you again for talking with us, Inna. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Inna: I just wish that people come to Corteo. We’re going to give them joy and they can step into a different magical world with us. That’s what I wish.

To purchase tickets to Corteo at Acrisure Arena, visit the official website at