Apr 09, 2018

Life is a Circus . . . Take in the Show !


Cirque du Soleil had humble beginnings. What is today known as the biggest event of its kind, started as a small venture undertaken by three friends. Guy Laliberté, Daniel Gauthier and Gilles Ste-Croix came together to organize a summer fair in Baie-Saint-Paul in Canada.


With the help of the Canadian government, the three men were able to  create Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul, a touring event which showcased performing arts of many local artists and performers. It included many of the talented performers that would go on to become a part of Cirque du Soleil. 


In the summer of 1980, Québec witnessed Les Échassiers, the event that was the foundation stone for the great Cirque du Soleil. The first Les Échassiers was a success in every other form except financial. The next year of the touring event, 1981 fared much better. 


This success gave rise to the touring festival, La Fête Foraine, first held in the year 1982. The festival included workshops for artists who wanted to learn the circus arts. It also provided an opportunity for these artists to perform. 


After faring moderately well, the biggest boost was received when the government of Québec gave Ste-Croix a $1.5 million grant to organize a production in order to celebrate the 450thanniversary of the discovery of Canada. The production was named Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil





The Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, ‘Circus of the Sun’, is the greatest theatrical producer in the world. The company which started as the brainchild of three friends and employed 73 people at the time of its inception in 1984 is today a bustling empire with 5,000 employees under its auspices. 


The company has done nothing but expand over the past several decades. Although the circus saw a mixture of hits and misses through the late eighties, Nouvelle Expérience, a show created under the direction of Franco Dragone, was responsible for making the circus truly profitable. The circus gained contemporary status thanks to its character-driven nature. Unlike its predecessors, Cirque du Soleil did not depend upon animals to entertain. 


Another distinguishing factor that made the circus stand out and that contributed to its success was the fact that each production and every show was unique in itself. Each show focused on themes, stories and emotions that reached all ends of the spectrum. The success was symbiotic. The more successful the circus got, the more money they had to experiment and put up even better and greater shows. 



Through the 1990s and 2000s, the popularity of the show expanded throughout the globe. It has now performed  in every continent of the planet (except for Antarctica). In a matter of only a few years, the circus increased its number of shows from one to nineteen, performing in 271 cities. 


The success of these shows is reflected through the numerous accolades that the Circus has garnered throughout the company’s tenure. From a Bambi Award, a Rose d’Or, three Drama Desk Awards, three Gemini Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards,and a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the company has been appreciated through several awards. 




Cirque du Soleil is spiralling towards new heights and the newest trick in its kitty is technology. The new NFL Experience in New York’s Times Square which has been designed by the company, employs video, sound, moving seats, and even smells, combining these sensory inputs to provide an immersive experience. The company has been able to reinvent itself yet again, this time through the use of new-age technology. 


Cirque du Soleil is steadily advancing beyond its traditional realm and moving to newer territories. The company is all set to inaugurate its first permanent show in the Mainland in the year 2019. The show will be based in Hangzhou. More than half of the show’s artists will be Chinese, giving it a unique and rooted flavour. With one show on the road and another ready to hit the road, the company is planning to expand further by introducing more permanent shows.


Apart from these, the other major ventures and expansions by the company can be expected in the form of a Theme Park based in Mexico, a custom-built theatre in New Jersey and several other shows. 





A new Cirque du Soleil show, KOOZA came to Shenzhen will come to Hong Kong later in April 2018. A return to the circus’ origins, this 150 minute show includes a half hour break. In the words of The Independent, London, “KOOZA is a show that blends, almost to perfection, its subcontinental sounds, its stunning lighting and costumes with theatrical ingenuity and acrobatic wonder.”


“KOOZA combines acrobatic performance and the art of clowning, while exploring fear, identity, recognition and power. The Innocent’s journey brings him into contact with comic characters from an electrifying world full of surprises, thrills, audacity and total involvement,” says the Cirque du Soleil’s website.


The show includes features like Hoops Manipulation, Double Highwire, Skeleton Dance and Wheel of Death.




KOOZA was in Shenzhen until April 1, 2018, and will next come to Hong Kong after a two-weeks break.


Dates:                      April 19, 2018 - June 3, 2018


Tuesdays              5pm and 8pm

Wednesdays        8pm

Thursdays            8pm

Fridays                 4.30pm and 8pm

Saturdays             4:30pm and 8pm

Sundays               1:30pm and 5pm


Venue: Central Harbourfront Event Space, 9 Lung Wo Rd, Central, Hong Kong

Ticket Prices: HKD 488 to 1,888/person


You can book tickets at http://www.asiaboxoffice.com/kooza

Visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/kooza for more information!


#mozaic #Circus #CirqueDuSoleil

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