Cirque du Soleil - Reinventing the Circus - celebrates 25 years!

Celebrating 25 years of pure circus/success !

There was a time when young boys and girls wanted to run away and join the circus. Then with the decline of circus, those dreams seemed to fade away.

History of Cirque du Soleil

Three men, Guy Laliberté, Daniel Gauthier and Gilles Ste-Croix created Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul. They employed many people who later became part of cirque in order to tour Quebec in 1980. Though well received by critics and audiences, it was a financial failure. However by the fall of 1981 things started looking up and they broke even. This inspired them to start a touring festival "La Fête Foraine," in July of 1982. It featured workshops to teach the circus arts to the public. The public could then take part in a performance. This festival managed to achieve moderate success over the next couple of years.

Cirque Du Soleil - DVD

Cirque du Soleil - Quidam
Cirque du Soleil - Quidam

Five stars for this DVD

 
Cirque Du Soleil: 20 Years Under the Sun - An Authorized History
Cirque Du Soleil: 20 Years Under the Sun - An Authorized History

If you are more into reading then this is a collectors item- Cirque du Soleil fan must have. 5 stars again for this.

 

25 years of fantastic Cirque Du Soleil music- Get it now!

25
25

DVD collection

 
Cirque du Soleil (Ultimate Sticker Books)
Cirque du Soleil (Ultimate Sticker Books)

Sticker fun for all ages child to adult. A perfect gift for Cirque lovers

 
Original logo design for le CLUB DES TALONS HAUTS, Cirque du Soleil’s parent company, by Josée Bélanger.
Original logo design for le CLUB DES TALONS HAUTS, Cirque du Soleil’s parent company, by Josée Bélanger.
 1983 Scene from LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
1983 Scene from LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
 1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
 1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. A gathering of street performers, it was inspired by the communal spirit of the 1960s. Photo: François Rivard
1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. A gathering of street performers, it was inspired by the communal spirit of the 1960s. Photo: François Rivard
 1983 A performance at LA FETE FORAINE, a precursor to Cirque du Soleil, Baie-Saint-Paul(Québec). Photo: François Rivard
1983 A performance at LA FETE FORAINE, a precursor to Cirque du Soleil, Baie-Saint-Paul(Québec). Photo: François Rivard
 1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
1983 LA FÊTE FORAINE. Photo: François Rivard
 1984 Design for Cirque du Soleil’s first logo, by Josée Bélanger.
1984 Design for Cirque du Soleil’s first logo, by Josée Bélanger.
 1984 Cirque du Soleil’s first big top, shrouded in fog. Learning to live with the realities of running a touring circus (like weather) proved challenging. Photo: Guy Laliberté
1984 Cirque du Soleil’s first big top, shrouded in fog. Learning to live with the realities of running a touring circus (like weather) proved challenging. Photo: Guy Laliberté
 1986 An artist performs on the high wire. Photo: Guy Laliberté
1986 An artist performs on the high wire. Photo: Guy Laliberté
 1986 A poster for Cirque’s show, LA MAGIE CONTINUE.
1986 A poster for Cirque’s show, LA MAGIE CONTINUE.
 1990 Lifang Wang performs foot juggling. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
1990 Lifang Wang performs foot juggling. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
 1990 The new look: Cirque du Soleil, in costumes designed by Dominique Lemieux, takes the stage. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
1990 The new look: Cirque du Soleil, in costumes designed by Dominique Lemieux, takes the stage. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc

In 1983, Guy Laliberté was given a grant by the Quebec government of $1.5 million to host a production the for Quebec's 450th anniversary celebration of the French explorer Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada. Laliberté named his creation "Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil". This sowed the seeds of converting a group of street performers into one of the most elaborate and best known form called Cirque Nouveau. This type of circus is without animal acts, it is characterized by a mixture of traditional circus arts with poetic spectacle, music, and dance. Thus Cirque du Soleil (circus of the sun)was born in 1984.

Laliberté and Caron the artistic director from the National Circus School had a huge hand in shaping Cirque. The shows had strong emotional music played by musicians; each show had a story to tell much like the Moscow Circus. The performers moved the props thus providing a seamless act and a storyline without disruption. The most important trait of the circus was that it neither had animals nor a ring.

 1990 NOUVELLE EXPÉRIENCE’S artists les Flounes. Left to right: Cécile Ardail, Patrice Wojciechowski, Christophe Lelarge, David Lebel et Isabelle Chassé. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
1990 NOUVELLE EXPÉRIENCE’S artists les Flounes. Left to right: Cécile Ardail, Patrice Wojciechowski, Christophe Lelarge, David Lebel et Isabelle Chassé. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
 1990 rehearsal for LE CIRQUE RÉINVENTÉ. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc
1990 rehearsal for LE CIRQUE RÉINVENTÉ. Photo: Jean-François Leblanc

In 1987, Cirque du Soleil was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Arts Festival. The festival was a success. The cirque meanwhile experienced more internal troubles and financial deficit. In the year 1989, they recreated a show that had originally been drawn up by Caron before his departure. This show was called the Nouvelle Expérience.

This production turned out to be Cirque du Soleil's most popular show up to that point and would continue running until 1993. By 1990, Cirque du Soleil was profitable again and marked the beginning of a successful reign of the French-Canadian acrobatic troupe that was a $3 billion entertainment empire. The combination of daredevil stunts, cutting-edge technology and die hard fan following that was willing to pay almost any ticket price (from $40 to $195) to see the shows made it one of the must-see’s in the world.

Fighting Competition

Like they say, it’s easy to make it to the top but hard to stay there. Laliberté formula for success lies in his skillful marketing of the shows rather than its performers. Eliminating dialogues helps stretching the reach of the shows across the globe. He is believed to have made a comment that he’d rather feed three acrobats than feed one elephant. However, they still have to fight the numerous imitations that spring up, many who are from the people who once were a part of the cirque. The best way that the Cirque fights this is with acute business acumen and with a budget to match. "They're a moving target for competitors," says W. Chan Kim, a professor at France's INSEAD business school. And Laliberté himself agrees that the business is a big jungle and one has to be alert. Marvels Kenneth Feld, owner of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus says "If you think about spending $165 million on a show that seats 1,900 people, the economics are just staggering." It's enough to take even an acrobat's breath away.

Join the Circus

To be the best you have to hire the best. That’s what Cirque du Soleil does! The hiring isn’t just restricted to actors, dancers, clowns, circus performers, musicians, singers, athletes in the disciplines of diving, gymnastics; synchronized swimming. Extreme sports aficionados, martial artists are not to be left behind. The selection process starts with sending in ones photo, curriculum vitae, and audiovisual footage of prior experiences. The criteria for selection are simply the WOW factor. How much does your application WOW the Cirque recruiters? The next step is the non conventional audition where one could audition alone, or in a troupe or simple be asked to do things out of the blue. The successful ones then get trained and then subsequently get hired. If you aren’t a performer you could apply for the productions and technical support jobs that include aquatics effects, architecture, theater projects, artistic direction, automation, building mechanics, carpentry, construction, drafting, illusions, lighting, mechanics, plumbing, props, rigging, set design, show wardrobe, sound, special effects, stage management, surveying, technical direction, technical documentation, technical equipment, tent operations, video and projections, welding…phew! And as if this wasn’t enough they also hire show management staff. Check out their recruitment site here.

Tibit: Many employees of the Cirque du Soleil are in fact Olympians!Why go to the games? It’s not complicated: When it comes to athletes, gymnasts and swimmers, Cirque du Soleil needs the best—and the best go to the Olympics. There is something about the dedication of an olympian that seems to impress the recruiters. Hence many olympians may have not won a medal but many secure jobs at the Cirque du Soleil. Ten Olympians perform in Las Vegas in the show “O,” Suzannah Bianco won a gold medal in synchronized swimming at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and was a four-time U.S. champion joined “O” in 1997 after Cirque recruiters sent her a personal invitation to audition for the show.

Cirque du Soleil Shows

Cirque du Soleil had 90 million spectators in over 200 cities on five continents. In 2009, Cirque du Soleil will present 19 shows simultaneously throughout the world. The company has received such prestigious awards as the Emmy, Drama Desk, Bambi, ACE, Gémeaux, Félix, and Rose d’Or de Montreux. Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters are in Montreal, Canada. The performers originate from no less than 13 countries, Chinese, Russian, American, Canadian or Belgian -- 40 nationalities in all are represented among the Montreal-based company's total 1,000 artists. Performers travel with physiotherapists, masseuses, and even school teachers for the youngest acrobats to ensure they get an education between somersaults and high-wire acts.

Cirque du Soleil has traveled the world over, setting up its big tops in vacant lots for weeks at a time. There are also permanent installations in Las Vegas, New York, Macau, Chicago, Florida's Walt Disney World, Tokyo, and next year in Dubai. The shows are divided into resident shows and touring shows. Read reviews here.

Cirque du Soleil celebrates 25th anniversary

On June 16th 2009, Cirque du Soleil celebrates 25 years of circus success. And how? Cirque du Soleil has invited its artists and employees from Fortaleza (Brazil), Las Vegas (U.S.A.), Lisbon (Portugal), Macau (China), Montreal (Canada), Nagoya (Japan), New York (U.S.A.), Orlando (U.S.A.) and Tokyo (Japan), as well as the population of Moscow (Russia), to gather on June 16, 2009 and help reclaim its Guinness world record for the most number of people walking on stilts. It first set the record on its 20th anniversary, in 2004.

Buy Cheap tickets for Cirque du Soleil shows - Cirque du Soleil is offering tickets at bargain prices. You can buy one ticket to any of our 6 Las Vegas shows, and bring a friend for just $25!Now that's a steal.....! This offer starts on May 11, 2009 and ends on October 11, 2009.

Cirque du Soleil Quick facts

  1. Established by Guy Laliberte, Gilles Ste-Croix and Daniel Gauthier along with 20 other street performers
  2. International Headquarters: Montreal, Canada
  3. Features approximately 4,000 employees, including 1,000 artists, from over 40 different countries in 2009
  4. As of 2009, 90 million people in more than 200 cities on five continents have watched performances
  5. 19 shows will be simultaneously performed across the globe in 2009
  6. Touring Shows: Alegria, Quidam, Dralion, Varekai, Corteo and Kooza
  7. Retired Shows: Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil, The Magic Continues, We Reinvent the Circus, Nouvelle Experience and Saltimbanco
  8. Cirque celebrates 25th anniversary on June 16th 2009
  9. Guy Laliberte, a former street artist, will become the world's seventh space tourist. Laliberte, 49, will blast off from the Russian launch site on the Kazakh steppe aboard a Soviet-designed Soyuz rocket with a Russian cosmonaut and a U.S. astronaut on September 30.
  10. Guy Laliberte's net worth is said to be 2.5Billion Dollars
  11. The ONE DROP Foundation of Circque du Soleil fights poverty in the world by ensuring everyone has access to water.

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Comments 9 comments

Daniella 7 years ago

Wow, nice pics. I am a huge Cirque du Soleil fan


BundleBoy profile image

BundleBoy 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Thanks Daniella.


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

I've seen Cirque de Soleil in the Albert Hall here in London - and it's amazing. Great pics!


BundleBoy profile image

BundleBoy 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Thank you! Which show did you see? Congrats again on your pay out.


KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Cirque du Soleil performances are a MUST see for young and old! I've seen Allegria live and several others on video! Bundleboy, you may want to add an Amazon module since Cirque products are well bought. Many, like me, buy the music soundtracks as well.


BundleBoy profile image

BundleBoy 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA Author

Thank you KCC Big Country for the advice! I will add an Amazon module soon.


jean ju 7 years ago

The cirque is re-inventing it self everytime, BRAVO.

Check out how Cirque du Soleil launches 3 shows in New York city

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZneozXJjCOI


Jaynie2000 profile image

Jaynie2000 5 years ago

I am a HUGE fan of Cirque and have been fortunate enough to see a few of their shows in Vegas and Orlando. Thanks for a great hub. Makes me want to go see another show!


pandalover 4 years ago

anybody know anything about a Cirque du Soleil pocketwatch ???

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