In 1984, little did the first 20 performers of the Cirque Du Soleil could imagine that their circus would become the largest theatrical producer company in the world. Based in Montreal, Canada, the Cirque Du Soleil Entertainment Group is the pinnacle of live entertainment and spectacle that currently operates 26 live circus shows around the world.
Beginning with the founders Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix, along with just a handful of street performers who decided to group up and find a better fate for their art in the early 1980s, the circus started touring locally in Canada before their first U.S tour on 1987. Thanks to their success, the doors for a European tour opened in 1990, and just three years later, the Cirque du Soleil presented their first permanent show in the city of Las Vegas “Mystère.”
Nowadays, the company’s yearly income surpasses half a billion dollars. So, what does it take to deliver the most spectacular shows around the world and maintain such consistently high stakes for decades? Here are the 3 main pillars that support the Cirque:
1. Cherish all employees, performers, and artists
Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group currently employs over 4,500 professionals from nearly 70 countries. 1,300 artists make up the team, usually coming from one of these three backgrounds:
- Sports disciplines
- Circus and art disciplines
- Dance, music, theatre, and street arts.
To train and to keep each of the performer’s highest physical and mental level, the Cirque built their “Performance Studios wing” at their International Headquarters in Montreal. With three acrobatic training rooms, dance studio, gym, and a studio-theatre, the company takes deep care for the ones getting on stage and also counts with dedicated facilities for everyone else who works in the creative teams, technicians, and musicians. Every employee is essential for the operation of the company and each show.
2. Bring creative minds together
At their International Headquarters, the company houses a mix of creatives that keep ideating and updating all the aspects of a Cirque du Soleil show. 400 craftspeople, composers, artists, engineers, performers, technicians, designers, advertisers, and more, they all come together to use the absolute power of creative co-work to create the most incredible shows, experiences, stories, sets, and music. Ideas are born inside a group formed by creative director, choreographers, writer-director, costume, lighting, and set designers.
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The music department is in charge of composing and scoring each show’s music. Inhouse composers work closely with directors and choreographers to deliver the right music to enhance every performance. The musics that audiences listen to are either original pieces made specifically for each show or covers with original rearrangements for tribute shows like “The Beatles LOVE” or “Michael Jackson ONE.”
“Our musicians and singers perform these songs live and must be ready to adjust the tempo or improvise to follow the pace of the artists on stage.”Cirque du Soleil
3. Create a suitable infrastructure for creativity
The Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters complex is the best example of a suitable space that keeps all involved professionals engaged, inspired, and eager to work to create new ideas every single day. It is a Cultural Center.
“I hope that the studio continues to become a home to creative people all over the world. Each of them is essential to what we do. They deserve all the credit in the world.”Guy Laliberté, founder of Cirque du Soleil
Inside the headquarters’ complex, performers develop skills, technicians and engineers develop new equipment for all kinds of shows. Inhouse designers also model stage sets and create all the costumes’ technology needed to build unique pieces that will take shows to another level. Also, because of its global presence and constant touring, the company decided to make smaller, regional headquarters on locations with either high show traffic or permanent shows.
Cirque du Soleil Las Vegas and around the world
The Cirque du Soleil operates 26 shows worldwide between tours and permanent locations. The lucky cities that delight themselves with at least one of these permanent shows are New York City, Orlando, Cancún, and the famous Las Vegas, which currently houses seven Cirque du Soleil shows.
- The Beatles LOVE
- Michael Jackson ONE
Cirque du Soleil is continuously holding castings, and auditions for the different disciplines needed and the creative positions inside the company:
- Action sports athletes
- Circus performers
- Clowns & physical actors
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