The Cirque du Soleil Experience
Originally a humble group of street performers, Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) has grown into one of the most successful entertainment companies in the world and has performed on every continent except Antarctica. The group got its start on the streets of Montreal, Canada, in the 1980s as a collection of stilt walkers called "The High Heels Club." Eventually, the group began to expand to include fire blowers, jugglers and other acts, and by 1984 the group began to call itself Cirque du Soleil. The company's iconic blue and yellow tent became synonymous with them and soon the troupe began to tour extensively throughout Canada and then into the United States.
In the early 1990s, Cirque du Soleil began touring around the world and began to refine the show's spectacle. Each show is a synthesis of myriad dance styles, music and acrobatics from around the world, with unique backdrops that are changed not by stagehands but from the performers themselves. This gives the presentation a seamless quality that allows the shows to move from different settings organically and without interrupting the flow of the show. Each show has a distinct style and flavor, ranging from family-friendly productions to adults-only.
The performers themselves are world-class athletes themselves, and Cirque du Soleil has an extremely competitive audition process. The entertainment company typically travels to athletic events all around the world, in particular the Olympics, to find true athletes that can perform the show's unique blend of dance and acrobatics. Additionally, the performers must be artistic, be able to improvise on the fly and know one another's duties on-stage to be able to step in during the event of an illness or an injury.
Cirque du Soleil boasts a multitude of shows all around the world in permanent venues such as Las Vegas, but also tours extensively with a variety of themed shows. The entertainment company has created a variety of unique productions including LOVE featuring the music of The Beatles, the cabaret extravaganza ZUMANITY and the family-oriented Wintuk held in New York City. With an ever-changing lineup of theatrical productions, Cirque du Soleil has created its own genre of the modern circus, spliced with street performances, acrobatics, music and offering one of the most unique spectacles in the world. It's dramatic and wholly unexpected format has helped it garner millions of fans worldwide and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.