Cirque du Soleil Magic
Just what IS Cirque du Soleil? And where did it come from? Let us help you find some answers…. If you know French, you know it’s not Circus Olay or any of the other common misspellings ;-) Anyway you spell it, it’s a magical experience...
As they glide through the air and balance in the most precarious situations, the acrobats, jugglers, clowns, trapeze artists, and other members of the highly anticipated entertainment realm of the magical Cirque du Soleil might be coming to a city near you.
Once you've had the chance to experience the beauty and breath-taking imagery of the "Circus of the Sun," you will carry a curious hope that you may one day return to the presence of such an awe-inspiring moment in time that explodes with imagination and creativity.
With an assortment of both permanent and traveling shows across the world, Cirque du Soleil has awed millions of people who come to view the colorful spectacle of performances that draw from a respectful knowledge of traditional circus presentation, but with one glaring difference. There are no animals that travel with or are on display at this type of circus; humans are the only performers you will come across with Cirque du Soleil.
As the entertainers follow intricate storylines to present an exhibition of talent you'll never forget, an array of vivid elements come into play. Depending on the show you attend, you could enjoy a bellowing operatic tenor to the grace of a delicate ballerina to the blare of a rock music score.
Dialogue uses colorful terms and imagery to weave a tale against a backdrop of equally entertaining music, which by the way, is performed live (with a few minute exceptions).
The entire experience is a combination of many different avenues of the performing arts that extravagantly crash into one another, delivering a highly pleasing display of talent.
The History of Cirque du Soleil
Although it feels as if Cirque du Soleil has lived and breathed in our hearts for decades upon decades, the concept was first brought to the public in 1984 by a group of street performers referred to as "Le Club des Talons Hauts" (which translates into the high-heels club). Many circles give sole credit regarding the start of the troupe to Guy Laliberté, who at the time was a musician possessing the talent of firebreathing. He now serves as Founding President. Additional members of the original troupe holding strong to prominent positions include the Director of Creation, Gilles Ste-Croix (who was quite adept on stilts) and then-actor, Guy Caron, who now serves as director for some Cirque du Soleil productions.
The ever-evolving spectacular event that Cirque du Soleil has become throughout the years has developed into a multi-million dollar empire that employs more than 2,500 across the world. This is a far cry from the 73 people who used to work for the troupe during its start. At first, the small company only delivered one show at a time as they toured the world.
In the beginning, Cirque du Soleil commanded an average of 270,000 eager audience members on a yearly basis from 1984 to 1989. In 2003, close to ten shows touched upon three different continents, where close to 7,000,000 guests entered the world of Cirque. Leaving an impression near and far, more than 100 cities have hosted the exceptional talent connected to Cirque du Soleil since its start.
Currently, there are six touring shows to look forward to: Alegría, Corteo, Dralion, Cirque 2007, Quidam, and Varekai. To date, there are three locations that present permanent displays of the ultra-creative world of Cirque. An array of theater shows is now situated in New York City, Orlando, and Las Vegas.
The Ins and Outs of a Cirque du Soleil Show
When it comes to breaking down a Cirque du Soleil show, you will find that the entire presentation starts with an imaginative concept that often branches into some sort of centralized storyline.
Keeping in tow with the initial vision, notions of design follow. Next, the show is assigned a composer, who will create the perfect music to accompany the various acts associated with the latest performances to hit the stage. Once these ideas are fully formed and matched with costumes and accessories, the elements will remain (for the most part) relatively unchanged as the show is performed on a set schedule.
As time passes, shows may evolve from performance to performance as new techniques and style give way to a slightly revamped interpretation of a previous concept.
Also, Cirque du Soleil actively recruits from circuses performing across the globe. The styles of various international performing gems, hailing from locations, such as Russia and China, have incorporated their own unique styles into the Cirque du Soleil family of acts.
As you cross your fingers for the next traveling Cirque du Soleil to visit your city or nearby location, you should know that the 2007 schedule anticipates the arrival of imagination to make pit stops in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Columbus, Denver, Los Angeles, and Orange County (just to name a few).
The above locations is where you may get a chance to catch the production of Corteo, which first appeared in 2005. The storyline of the production focuses on a celebratory parade as imagined by a clown. Filled with a mixture of tragedy, comedy, randomness, and mystery, Corteo melds illusion with reality. While the central character is the Dead Clown, other individuals come to life, such as the Loyal Whistler, the Little Clown, and the White Clown. Aerial acrobatics of Corteo present performances upon giant chandeliers, tightrope walkers surrounded by angels, and multiple hoop exhibitions.
Another touring production is called Alegria and is said to be one of the most popular of the bunch. Stemming from a main theme that centers on the struggle between mishandled power and the hope that comes from looking towards a better future, elaborate acts are presented. Characters, such as the Nymphs, the Bronx, the Nostalgic Old Birds, and the Clowns decorate the stage with acts that bring synchronized trapeze routines, mid-air twists, hand-balancing, and the Fire/Knife Dance to the beat of passionate congo drums. Currently, European residents will have a chance to enjoy this particular production, passing through Barcelona, Paris, Spain, and London. Future plans may see the troupe heading for Moscow and South Africa once the European tour has ended.
Remaining touring productions include Dralion (showcasing a clash between a dragon and a lion); Quidam (highlighting the sad musings of a young girl); Varekai (portraying similarities to the Greek myth of Icarus); and Cirque 2007, which will make appearances throughout Canada, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and San Jose.
As for permanent shows, Las Vegas spectators will encounter the production of Mystere at Treasure Island, which joins four other resident Cirque du Soleil shows - Zumanity, LOVE, Ka, and O have become quite the fixture in the city that never sleeps.
While performers deliver acts, such as the Aerial Cube, Chinese Poles, and the Korean Plank, visitors can't get enough of the acrobatics, dancing, singing, gymnastics, music, and comedy that Cirque du Soleil shows have been known to provide audiences across the world for many years.
We'll certainly be adding more information about this magical experience. A'Lona and I were able to see Quidam in Cincinnati in Sept 2006. And we then made it to Columbus to see Corteo in May 2007.
Click here to visit our page on Cirque du Soleil Delirium – the Movie!
Click here to visit our page on Cirque du Soleil - Corteo in Columbus.
Visit our page about Cirque du Soleil - Quidam in Cincinnati
Return to JuggleNow Home Page