Creator/CirqueDuSoleil's seventeenth show launched in 2005.

"Corteo" is the Italian word for ''cortege'', which means "funeral procession". The story takes place in the deathdream of a turn-of-the-20th-century European circus clown. While this sounds terribly morbid, and the show opens with his mourners gathering round his deathbed, what ensues is extremely warmhearted and uplifting, a celebration of a life on Earth and a joyous homecoming in Heaven. The characters, besides the angels watching over the Dead Clown, are primarily his dear colleagues from the circus; their relationships provide the show's heart.

This was filmed for [=TV=] and [=DVD=] in 2005 during the Toronto engagement. The tent tour is spending 2013 in South America.

!!!This show contains examples of:
* {{Balloonacy}}: RealLife example with the "helium dance". The Clowness (a little person) is placed in a harness attached to several giant balloons, and from there drifts over the stage and audience -- who [[Main/AudienceParticipation helps her along on her flight]].
* BilingualBonus: The songs have Spanish or Italian lyrics. Notably, and probably due to the more-realistic-than-usual setting, this is Cirque's first tour in years to completely eschew SpeakingSimlish / SingingSimlish; most of the dialogue is in English.
* CatchPhrase: "I '''am''' calm!" for the Loyal Whistler (the ringmaster).
* CluckingFunny: Early in the run, an Act Two segment called "[[Main/ExactlyWhatItSaysOnThetin A Not-So-Serious Act]]" featured performers who found their rhythmic gymnatics act interrupted by a rain of rubber chickens. The act is gone, but the chickens remain.
* CostumePorn: The classical traditional circus outfits. Also counts as GorgeousPeriodDress.
* DyingDream: The premise.
* EverythingsBetterWithSparkles: The judicious use of a handful of glitter in the final moments of the duo-straps act.
* EverythingsBetterWithSpinning: Three acts invoke this: chandeliers, cyr wheel, and duo-straps.
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin: The Teatro Intimo is '''truly''' intimate, because it's '''truly''' small. Many of the character names fit this trope as well.
* GentleGiant: The Giant Clown.
* ManInWhite: The White Clown.
* {{Motifs}}: Circles. The show presents death as a homecoming for the soul in question, and thus a life come full circle.
** The stage, unique to Cirque, is circular instead of the traditional 3/4 thrust design; it's not an in-the-round setup (the side entrances for the performers split the seating into two halves), but it's close enough for symbolic purposes. As a bonus, several of the acts have the stage revolving as they unfold.
** The cyr wheels.
** The adiago duet is performed on and around a large, fixed hoop.
** The jugglers are adept with rings and hoops.
** The tightwire walker uses hoops as part of her routine, as well as a unicycle.
** The Dead Clown is last seen riding a bicycle in the sky.
* NamelessNarrative
* NoAntagonist: The story is an examination of a little "family" of performers who do their best to put on a good show and are sometimes stymied by such things as unpredictable animals, a too-small theatre, bizarre incidents (raining chickens?), and individual performers' desire to be the center of attention. (Imagine a human version of ''Series/TheMuppetShow''.)
* NonIronicClown: Most of the principal characters. A stated goal of this show was to create clowns that would be embraced by audiences, especially children, more familiar with the MonsterClown trope than this.
* OcularGushers: The preshow has several of the Dead Clown's mourners gathering in the tent aisle and wailing their hearts out -- and their "tears" leave those nearby damp.
* PantomimeAnimal: The horses.
* TheShowMustGoWrong: The Teatro Intimo segment.