Invoke, provoke and evoke the imagination, the senses and the emotions of people around the world.
Founded in Quebec in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is a worldwide organization headquartered in Montreal with international operations in the fields of artistic creation, production, performance, merchandising and multimedia.
Viewed by the Canadian federal, provincial and municipal governments as one of Canada's foremost cultural ambassadors.
Headquarters and Offices
Headquartered in Montreal (North American Tour and Orlando Operations), Cirque du Soleil has five offices around the world. In addition to its head office in Montreal, there is a second in Amsterdam that oversees Cirque's European operations; a third in Las Vegas, which oversees hotel/casino operations; and a fourth one in Singapore which oversees the Asia-Pacific Tour.
The Studio (International HQ): Construction of the Studio (15,300 square meters) was completed late 1996 and it opened in February 1997, making it possible for more than 500 permanent employees to work together under the same roof for the first time in Cirque's history. Located in the heart of the Saint-Michel district in northeastern Montreal, the Studio was designed according to Cirque's specifications. Central to the buildings design concept was the notion of transparency: visible building structures, unfinished materials, the number and size of windows, and the interplay of volume and wide open space. There are three training rooms, a construction workshop, a costume workshop and office space. The Studio is the one and only creation and production center for Cirque du Soleil ; it is within these walls that Cirque shows presented throughout the world see the light of day and take form.
The construction of the International Headquarters is the first step in a large-scale development project for Cirque du Soleil . At the north end of the building, we find Place du Chapiteau ("The Big Top"). This is an ideal setting for a variety of activities and a place where the Big Top can be set up for Montreal performances before Cirque embarks on a North American Tour. Future phases include the Artists' Village at the southernmost part of the site, slated to serve as an orientation and accommodation center for Cirque performers and contributors passing through Montreal.
The Studio construction project is part of a major urban development program, the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex, of which Cirque represents the cultural pole.
Currently employs more than 2,100 people including 500 performers. The average age of a Cirque du Soleil employee is 32. The artists come from all around the world, including Australia, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Cuba, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, The Netherlands, Ukraine and the U.S.A.
Fans to Date
Since its inception in 1984, more than 23 million people from around the world have experienced a Cirque du Soleil production. Since 1992, close to 2 million people have experienced a Cirque du Soleil production in Asia. Over 3 million people around the world have seen the Saltimbanco show. On a typical weekend in 1999, some 50,000 people would have experienced one of its 8 productions, which are staged simultaneously on 3 continents.
Cirque du Soleil has produced thirteen shows: Cirque du Soleil (1985), La Magie Continue (1986), Cirque Réinventé (1987-1989), Nouvelle Expérience (1990-1991), Fascination (1992), Saltimbanco (1992-2001), Mystère (running since 1993), Alegría (1994-2001), Quidam (1996-2002), "O"TM (running since October 1998), La Nouba (running since December 1998) and Dralion(running since April 1999).
Over 120 cities throughout the world, including Montreal, Toronto, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Vienna, Barcelona, Sydney and Melbourne.
Cirque du Soleil has won many prestigious prizes since its beginnings in 1984, including the Emmy, Drama Desk, Bambi and ACE awards, Gemeaux and Felix trophies, and a Rose d'Or de Montreux.
G7 Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1995 at the request of the Canadian Government. Royal Variety Performances including the December 1997 edition in conjunction with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip's Golden Wedding Anniversary.
Cirque du Soleil performers have taken part in and won awards at various festivals throughout the world, including the Festival International du Cirque de Monte Carlo, the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (France), the Festival International de Cirque de Vérone (Italy), the Festival International de Cirque de Gênes (Italy), and the Wuhan International Acrobatic Art Festival (China).
Formed in 1994 by Cirque du Soleil , Cirque du Monde is a means of fostering the development of youth in difficulty. Through its circus workshops, Cirque du Monde provides its young participants a chance to experience something positive that can act as a catalyst for growth in self-esteem and identity. Hundreds of youth in South America, Europe and Canada have benefited from Cirque du Monde.
On October 19, 1998, Cirque du Soleil opened its second resident show - an aquatic extravaganza called "O" at Bellagio, a resort in Las Vegas. Olympic synchronized swimming medallist, Sylvie Fréchette, serves as a performer and coach for the show.
On December 23, 1998, a new permanent theater built at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida opened with a brand new production called La Nouba , accompanied by the very first Cirque du Soleil store.
On January 7, 1999, the Saltimbanco show embarked on a three-year Asia-Pacific Tour, which will cover Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
On April 22, 1999, a new production, Dralion , premiered in Montreal and will tour North America for five years.
On May 20, 1999 the Alegría show which has already dazzled audiences on three continents, found a permanent home at Beau Rivage in Biloxi, Mississippi. This resort is a Mirage Resorts Incorporated property, the Cirque du Soleil partner for its two Las Vegas productions.
In October 1998, shooting began on Cirque du Soleil Journey of Man which will open in 2000.
Specially produced for the television format, Cirque du Soleil Presents Quidam is available around the world in Pay Per View, Cable, Free Television, VHS and DVD.
Alegria, the film, is the first feature film by Cirque du Soleil and was released on VHS and DVD and as a soundtrack in Spring 2000.
Current Production Status
In 2000, Cirque du Soleil presents eight shows simultaneously on three continents.
Saltimbanco (Asia-Pacific Tour)
Alegría (Biloxi, Mississippi, U.S.A.)
Mystère (Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.)
Quidam (European Tour)
"O" (Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.)
La Nouba (Orlando, Florida, U.S.A.)
Dralion (North American Tour)
Pomp Duck & Circumstance (Dinner-theater show currently touring Europe)
Cirque du Soleil Subsidiaries
Cirque du Soleil Images manages the production of audio-visual and multimedia works, and oversees the marketing of all Cirque du Soleil show soundtracks managed by BMG. Its intensive business development plan includes the production of feature films, television specials, documentaries and animation for television and film.
Cirque du Soleil On-Line
Developed in 1996, the Cirque du Soleil web site offers a virtual tour of the Studio; clips from the productions Alegría , La Nouba , Mystère , "O" , Quidam , Saltimbanco and Dralion ; musical excerpts from various show soundtracks; the ability to explore the "O" , Alegría , Mystère and La Nouba theaters (including backstage areas); details of current touring productions; information on the organizations history and mission; arts programs; philanthropic activities; audition schedules; job openings; a "Ticket Info" section which enables the purchase of tickets online for the shows Dralion , Quidam and Saltimbanco (including an interactive seating plan which allows the user to view the stage as it appears from each of the seating categories under the Big Top); and a cybershop, allowing visitors to purchase Cirque du Soleil merchandise on line. Available in three languages: English, French, and German, the website hosts over 5,000 visitors a day.