The story begins in 1982, in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec. In this haven of creativity whose rural charm attracts artists, art collectors and tourists alike, a group of young street performers mix with the crowd, walking on stilts, juggling and eating fire.
They are the Club des Talons Hauts (the High Heels Club). Inspired by the spectators' obvious delight, the performers hatch the idea of organizing an entertainers' festival, the Fête Foraine de Baie-Saint-Paulthe precursor of what is to become Cirque du Soleil.
Cirque is based on a totally new concept: a striking, dramatic mix of the circus arts and street entertainment, featuring wild, outrageous costumes, staged under magical lighting and set to original music. With not a single animal in the ring, Cirque's difference is clear from the very start.
Cirque du Soleil-
A Fantastic Journey
In 1984 Cirque du Soleil is born with the assistance of the Quebec government, as part of the celebrations surrounding the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s arrival in Canada.
Cirque du Soleil takes La Magie Continue to eight other cities across Canada, including Vancouver, where it puts on several performances at the Children’s Festival and Expo 86. Cirque makes its name on the international stage too, as acts are awarded top honours at competitions and festivals around the world.
In 1987 Cirque du Soleil visits its American neighbours for the first time. Having triumphed in five cities in Quebec, We Reinvent the Circus is performed at the Los Angeles Festival, and then moves on to San Diego and Santa Monica.
Exhilarated by the Californian public's response, Cirque du Soleil is an overnight success.
In 2004 Cirque du Soleil celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2004Cirque du Soleil is has a fifth permanent show in Las Vegas: LOVE, which celebrates the musical legacy of the Beatles, premieres in June at The .
Cirque du Soleil has also entered into an exclusive agreement with CKX Inc. through its subsidiary Elvis Presley Enterprisesfor thecreation, development, production and promotion of Elvis Presley projects, featuring touring and resident shows, as well as multimedia interactive “Elvis experiences,” throughout the world.
2008 was an historical year for Cirque du Soleil as the company launched three new permanent shows that year: ZAIA at The Venetian Hotel in Macau (China), ZED at the
Tokyo Disney Resort in Tokyo (Japan) and CRISS ANGEL Believe at The Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas (United States).
Cirque du Soleil also created a show-event presented at Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City in the scope of the 400th anniversary of the city. Istithmar World, the investment arm of Dubai World, and Nakheel have together acquired a 20 per cent stake in Cirque du Soleil.
Cirque du Soleil has also partnered with George and Craig Cohon to create Cirque du Soleil Rus, a Russian Company, which will be lead by Russians for Russians.
In 2009 Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 25th anniversary and launch the 25th production of its history. This new creation premieres in Montreal in April.
The international success story known as Cirque du Soleil is, above all, the story of a remarkable bond between performers and spectators the world over. For at the end of the day, it is the spectators who spark the creative passions of Cirque du Soleil.
Zarkana resident show flying high in Las Vegas at Aria
Zarkana by Cirque du Soleil is an acrobatic rock experience that blends circus arts with the surreal to create a world where physical virtuosity rubs shoulders with the strange. Read more about Zarkana.
The Beatles "Love"
Beatles "Love" at the Mirage" is a joint theatrical production by Cirque du Soleil and The Beatles' Apple Corps Ltd. Performed at a specially-built theatre at The Mirage in Las Vegas, "Love" combines the re-produced and re-imagined music of The Beatles with an interpretive, circus-based artistic and athletic stage performance. Lynn Marie's review of "LOVE."
"KÀ" at the MGM Grand
Featuring 80 performers from around the world, KÀ combines martial arts, acrobatics, puppetry, interactive video projections and pyrotechnics to tell the epic saga of Imperial Twins -- a boy and a girl -- who embark on an adventurous journey to fulfill their destinies. "KÀ" is created and directed by acclaimed theatre and film director Robert Lepage.
About Cirque du Soleil
From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has more than 4,000 employees from over 40 different countries, including 1,000 performing artists. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to almost 90 million spectators in over 200 cities on five continents. In 2009, Cirque du Soleil will present 20 shows simultaneously throughout the world.
This anniversary collection celebrates the achievements of the world renowned Cirque du Soleil. The collection includes 11 Cirque du Soleil productions plus a bonus DVD of Midnight Sun, a once-in-a-lifetime special event captured on DVD. The title within this colorful collection are: A Baroque Odyssey, Allegria, Cirque Reinvente, Dralion, Journey of Man, La Magie Continue, Nouvelle Experience, Quidam, Saltimbanco, Varekai, and La Nouba.
Cirque du Soleil's Anniversary Collection 1984-2005 is a 12-disc retrospective of the Canadian troupe's distinctive brand of performance, involving the fantastic feats of acrobatics and athleticism, balance and contortion; the single-ring techno circus; the multicolored lights and costumes; the abstract story lines of fantasy and self-discovery; the music that fuses rock, New Age, and various world influences; and the madcap clowns that prey on their live audiences. The programs included are La Magie Continue (1986); Cirque Reinvente (1989); Nouvelle Experience (1991); Saltimbanco (1994), the 1994 documentary retrospective A Baroque Odyssey; the Amsterdam-set Quidam (1999); Allegria (1999), the live Sydney show; the Chinese-influenced Dralion (2000), in its standard, non-Superbit release; the relatively short IMAX film Journey of Man (2002); Varekai (2002), from Toronto; La Nouba (2003), from Walt Disney World; and Midnight Sun, strikingly staged outdoors at the 2004 Montreal International Jazz Festival.
That's a lot of aerial feats, tricks, and tumbling, but the set is not designed to absorb in one sitting. Rather, viewers can sample both the simpler early shows and the stunning later performances that, with their 5.1 sound and widescreen pictures, are perfectly suited to home theaters. Compiling 12 previously released DVDs in space-saving Thinpaks at an economical price, the Anniversary Collection is nearly all the Cirque du Soleil you could ever want, but completists should note that the set does not include the feature film Allegria: An Enchanting Fable, the bonus disc of Varekai, the reality-TV show Fires Within, and the 13-part variety series Solstrom. --David Horiuchi, Amazon.com