Cirque du Soleil – Information – Present and Past – a special report written by Carsten Cumbrowski.
This article contains a lot of information about the creations of Cirque du Soleil in a very compressed and compact format, a 101 article, a primer. If any of your questions about the Cirque is not answered by this primer and if the question is not too specific do not hesitate and contact me directly or via the comments section at this blog to ask me about it.
The article grew so big over time that the load time started to suffer significantly. It also became much harder to find specific information quickly. So I decided to break it up into multiple (nine!) posts instead. You can use the provided links to navigate around this collection of articles about Cirque du Soleil on this web site.
Note: I am keeping the post updated with new developments and show updates.
Last updated: July, 2014
Bookmark this page and check back from time to time!
Please Note: The items with an icon in front of them refer to a separate article about the subject. However, if you are just interested in short lists (list of shows, list of sound tracks etc.), then you do not have to leave this page to the detailed articles, but scroll further down to find your answers right there.
- Cirque du Soleil – Historic Time-Line 1984 to Present
- The Cirque du Soleil Story – Odyssea – The dreamer’s Odyssey
- Cirque du Soleil Touring Shows
- Resident Shows of Cirque du Soleil
- Cirque du Soleil Arena Shows
- Cirque du Soleil Show Names and their Meanings
TV and Multimedia
- Cirque du Soleil Releases for TV and IMAX
- Cirque du Soleil Documentaries
- Cirque du Soleil on DVD
- Cirque du Soleil Music Releases
- Other Performances of the Cirque
- Cirque du Soleil File Archive (Videos, Audio and Images)
- Rumors about other Future Cirque du Soleil Projects
- Cirque du World Records
- Attention Performers or Artists!
- More Cirque du Soleil Resources
- Something Else
- Did you know?
- My Previous Cirque du Soleil Related Blog Posts
” “Cirque du Soleil” is a French moniker and is translated to “Sun Circus” or more appropriately “Circus of the Sun“. Hence, their sun logo, which is said to have been created by the troupe’s founder, Guy Laliberté, while lying on a beach in Hawaii.
Cirque du Soleil is an Avant-Garde (meaning one that develops new or experimental concepts in the arts) circus troupe created in 1982 as “Club des Talons Hauts” or “The High-Heels Club”. In June 1984, Cirque du Soleil officially came together in part by contributions and summons by the Québec government to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s (1491-1557) arrival.
INVOKE, PROVOKE, EVOKE is Cirque du Soleil’s corporate mission by which they intend to “invoke the
imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world.” “
I have a lot of videos with actual show footage from shows where no DVD of the full show recording is available for purchase yet. I am not talking about short teasers that are 1-3 minutes long, no no, I have much better stuff than that* :). Enjoy.
*Note: A video of a Cirque show is only a better quality advertisement for the real deal, which is the experience of a Cirque du Soleil show live, at the Big Top or at the venues for the various resident and arena shows. If you have not seen a Cirque show live yet, try to change that whenever it comes possible. If you did see a Cirque show live already, I have nothing else to tell you (preaching to the choir :)).
Below is a short video for starters. It is only a few minutes long and titled “Cirque Du Soleil Now and Then – 1984 to 2009“. It is a brief history of Cirque Du Soleil and it is very compressed, no talking, just images from the shows.
Well, if you have to cover 25 years of history in about 5 1/2 minutes time, you have to stick to the stuff that is most important ;). From the humble beginnings in Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec (Canada) in 1984 to the worldwide fame and multi-billion dollars enterprise of today in 2009, the shows, the people and the entertainment.
Backup link to video at Vimeo.com
You can also
download this video in .AVI format here.
|Touring Shows (Big Top)|
- LeGrand Tour (1984) / Le Cirque du Soleil (1985)
- La Magie Continue/The Magic Continues (1986)
- Cirque Reinventé/We Reinvent the Circus (1987-1990)
- Nouvelle Expérience/A New Experience (1990-1993)
- Saltimbanco (1992-2006)
- Fascination (1992)
- Alegría (1994-2009)
- Quidam (1996-…)
- Dralion (1999-…)
- Varekai (2002-…)
- Corteo (2005-…)
- KOOZÅ (2007-…)
- Ovo (2009-…)
- Totem (2010-…)
- Michael Jackson Immortal World Tour (2011-…)
- Amaluna (2012-…)
- Kurios (2014-…)
- Mystère (1993-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- “O” (1998-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- La Nouba (1998-…) – Orlando/USA
- Zumanity (2003-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- KÀ (2004-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- The Beatles “Love” (2006-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- Wintuk (2007-2011 – New York City/USA
- Zaia (2008-…) – Macao/China
- Zed (2008-…) – Tokyo/Japan
- Criss Angel “Believe” (2008-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- Banana Shpeel aka Vaudeville in Chicago (2009-2010 – Chicago & New York City/USA
- Viva ELVIS (2009-2012) – Las Vegas/USA
- Iris (2011-2013 – Los Angeles/USA
- Zarkana (2011-…) – New York City/USA
- Michael Jackson – One (2013-…) – Las Vegas/USA
- JOYÀ (2014-…) – Riviera Maya/Mexico
- Delirium (2006-2008)
- Saltimbanco (2007-…)
- Quidam (Europe) (2008-…)
- Alegría (2009-…)
|TV and Imax Productions|
- Journey of Man (1999/IMAX)
- Alegria – An Enchanting Fable (1999/Movie)
- Fire Within (2002/TV Series)
- Solstrom (2003/TV Series)
- Worlds Away (2012/IMAX)
|Documentary DVD & VHS Releases|
Not included in this list are TV productions, Show DVD special features and other types of documentaries that were not officially released on a separate VHS or DVD. For a full list of documentary productions see details here.
- Quel Cirque (VHS/1991) (Nouvelle Expérience)
- Saltimbanco’s Diary (VHS/1992)
- A Baroque Odyssey (VHS & DVD/1994)
- The Truth of Illusion (VHS/1994) (Alegría)
- Full Circle (VHS/1996) (Quidam)
- Inside La Nouba (VHS & DVD/2000)
- KÀ Extreme (DVD/2005)
- Lovesick (DVD/2006)
- Flow (DVD/2007) (“O”)
- The Mystery of Mystère (DVD/2007)
- A Thrilling Ride through KOOZÅ (DVD/2007)
- All Together Now (DVD/2008) (Love)
- Zed in Tokyo (DVD/2010)
- Elvis in Las Vegas (2010)
- Flowers in the Desert (DVD/TV/2010) (Vegas Shows, PBS Prod.)
- Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour (TV/2012)
- Hatching (DVD/2013)
|Official Show Sound Tracks (Alphabetically)|
- Alegria – An Enchanting Fable
- Believe (Criss Angel)
- Journey of Man
- La Nouba
- Michael Jackson – Immortal
- Nouvelle Expérience
- Viva Elvis
- Date Unknown – Cirque du Soleil has proposed a theme park near Oropesa del Mar/Orpesa, Spain to act as a permanent location. The theme is “Illusion World”, and it would be located in Castellon.
That’s it and all there is at the moment. Not bad eh? If you did not see a Cirque show yet, go and make it an item on your “must see before I die list”. The videos and DVDs are nice, but never replace the actual atmosphere and visuals of a live performed show. I watched a few Cirque shows twice already and it was never boring, because you can’t notice everything at once that is going on live. Cirque shows are “notorious” for stuff happening in parallel to the main story and acts.
Additional Cirque du Soleil Stuff
See the Global Citizenship web site of Cirque du Soleil for more information about the Cirque’s community and environmental projects around the world.
Performers of Cirque du Soleil set more than once a new record for the Guinness Book of World Records. Check out the following articles of mine to find out more about those records.
- World Record by Three Cirque du Soleil Teenage Performers
- About Cirque du Soleil, the Guinness Book of World Records & a lot of Stilts
The Cirque is now heavily recruiting new and old talents. They created a special section on their web site just for this purpose. It was very well done and is very elaborate and rich on multimedia content, including tons of small videos and more. Here is the URL to their new Casting/Recruitment web site and to their open positions listings via Taleo.net.
Temporary employees when visiting a city
- North America: Contact your local Manpower office.
- Europe: Contact your local Manpower office.
- Germany: Contact your local Showbizz office.
- Australia and New Zealand: Contact your local Adecco office.
Is there a Cirque du Soleil school?
Cirque du Soleil offers neither training sessions nor internships. However, there is a reputable circus school in Montreal which may be of great interest to you: National Circus School 8181 2nd Avenue Montreal, Quebec Canada H1Z 4N9 Tel: 514 982-0859 web site: http://www.enc.qc.ca
The folks over at the Wynn in Las Vegas are also looking for performers for their show Le Rêve. Their casting efforts are just as serious as the Cirque’s. They even but their casting web site for the show up on its own domain, LeReveCasting.com.
- Cirque du Soleil Homepage
- 25th Anniversary Events Homepage
- Las Vegas Shows Homepage
- CDS Event Homepage
|Cirque du Soleil Shopping|Cirque du Soleil Online Shop (Boutique)
- Cirque du Soleil products @ Amazon.com – DVDs – Music CDs
- eBay offers and auctions to Cirque du Soleil
|Background Information & History|
- Cirque du Soleil Database at CirqueTribune.com has details and background information about artists and creators of Cirque du Soleil shows. CirqueTribune.com also has a Wiki, Forums, Image Gallery and a Chat Room, which is only open in the evenings from 5p-2a Pacific seven days a week.
- Various articles to Cirque du Soleil at the English language Wikipedia – The free encyclopedia that everybody can edit. See article index for the Category “Cirque du Soleil”.
- Le Grand Chapiteau (and here) by Ricky “Richasi” Russo from Orlando, Florida. Cirque fan site with much information to the shows and Cirque.
- The Cirque du Soleil FAQ (TXT file) is a very detailed FAQ about the Cirque and its shows, videos, music and more, maintained by Ricky “Richasi” Russo.
- “Have we ever visited your area?” – A web page by Cirque du Soleil where you can check which Cirque show ever visited which City around the world, since 1984.
- Cirque du Soleil – A Dreamers Odyssey (Odyssea)– The interactive Cirque du Soleil story and history.
|Official Media, Videos and Promotion|
- Official YouTube.com online video sharing channel maintained by Cirque du Soleil.
- Official YouTube Channel maintained by the Cirque du Soleil marketing team in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Media Gallery at CirqueDuSoleil.com – official gallery of videos, images and music published by Cirque du Soleil.
- Get the Cirque du Soleil widget with cool videos, multiple full length music pieces from Cirque du Soleil shows, information and promotional alerts right from your desktop.
- Check the latest special promotions, discount deals and offers that are available for the shows that are running in Las Vegas, Nevada.
|Unofficial Media (Photographs, Videos)|
- My Cirque du Soleil Image Gallery at Google’s Picasa Image sharing online service.
- Cirque du Soleil Images at my Flickr account. More pictures and better sorted than the Gallery at my Google Picasa account. Over 4,400 photographs and pictures of Cirque du Soleil in 41 sets, Wall Papers (various sizes, including Mobile), Logos, CD & DVD Covers, Disks, Special Events photographs, Movies Screen Shots, Photo Shots from Commercials & Special Promotional Events and Performances.
- YouTube video play lists with my Cirque du Soleil Videos and my play list with a listing of numerous Cirque du Soleil videos from various contributors and of course my CirqueDuSoleilGuru YouTube Channel.
- Download my Cirque Videos in .AVI or .WMV format from Mediafire.com (free)
- Special Cirque Music Downloads – my file-share at Mediafire with rare and hard to get (out of print) music from Cirque du Soleil shows and events.
Cirque du Soleil Fan Groups on Video Sharing Web Sites
Cirque du Soleil Fan Group @ Dailymotion.com
Cirque du Soleil Fan Group @ YouTube
Cirque du Soleil @ Magnify.net
|Fan Clubs, Cirque Fanatics Resources|
- The official Cirque Club site at CirqueDuSoleil.com. Remember, membership is absolutely free! (Note: CirqueClub.com redirects to the same page at CirqueDuSoleil.com)
- Homepage of the Unofficial Fan Club of Cirque du Soleil at CirqueFascination.com and this Yahoo Group
- Cirque du Soleil Mailing List, a Yahoo Group dedicated to Cirque du Soleil.
- Follow the the Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil branch on their Twitter account.
- Official Cirque Shows Facebook Groups
- Only for mature audiences. Two online games about the Cirque du Soleil show Zumanity, the sensual side of Cirque du Soleil, which is performed live at the New York, New York hotel and casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Also check out the online Quiz to determine in which mood you are in and which of the Las Vegas Cirque shows would be right to match your mood.
Okay, something else. I know that some people will give me a lecture for saying this (again), but I don’t care.
Franco Dragonè (the creator of the Cirque du Soleil shows Cirque Reinventé, La Magie Continue, Nouvelle Experience, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegria, Quidam, O and La Nouba) and Michel Crête left the Cirque in 1998 after finishing the resident show La Nouba for the Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Dragonè created, much to the dislike of the Cirque, a Cirque du Soleil-like show for Steve Wynn’s new property in Las Vegas, the 2.5+ billion Dollars Wynn Las Vegas hotel and casino mega-resort (which has it’s very own golf course right next to the hotel). The name of the new show is “Le Rêve” (The Dream in French) and it premiered on May 6th, 2005.
The main difference to traditional Cirque shows is that rather than relying on few high profile acrobatics act that are hard to impossible to replace, does the show compensate for the lack of those acts with very elaborate acts with many performers at the same time, enriched with even more elaborate visual effects.
The side effect of this is that the show feels more like a real show with a theme that was not artificially added to existing circus acts. This also means that the circus aspect of the show falls very short of the expectations of those who expected to see a classic Cirque show.
Interestingly did I notice that the much younger show by the real Cirque, “Love, which has the Beatles music and time era as basis, follows a pattern that is very similar to the one of Le Rêve.
If “Kooza” in 2007 wouldn’t have proven otherwise, I would have thought that this would be the “new” Cirque du Soleil trend. Kooza is a very traditional Circus experience, just FYI.
* The CD on Amazon is overpriced. It’s not official anyway. You can only buy the CD officially at the Le Rêve Boutique at the Wynn in Las Vegas. They have no web site, but you can order via phone, just dial the following phone number,
Wynn Las Vegas Gift Shop: +1-(702) 770-3541
Steve Wynn sold his other Las Vegas properties the “Mirage“, “Treasure Island“* and the “Bellagio” to the media giant Metro–Goldwyn–Mayer (MGM), who also happens to own the “New York, New York“, “Luxor” and the “MGM Grand“, all the hotels & casinos where the current resident shows of the Cirque are being performed. And how about this? …. The latest planned show for Las Vegas will also be for a property that is owned by MGM, the currently constructed “CityCenter“. If rumors are true and another show is being planned for Mandalay Bay, then it would be two new shows for two of MGM’s properties. Funny, isn’t it? A coincidence? Highly unlikely in my opinion**.
*MGM sold the Treasure Island again in 2009 to former New Frontier hotel owner Phil Ruffin.
** It was Steven Wynn though who brought Cirque du Soleil to Las Vegas. Nouvelle Experience was performed for several months at the Mirage and the first permanent Las Vegas show of Cirque du Soleil is Mystère at the Treasure Island (while it was still owned by Steve Wynn).
Why the Primer? Who Am I?
So why this long write-up all of the sudden, you might ask? Well, I spent a lot of time on creating Cirque du Soleil videos. I referred to a large number of them from the various posts that make up this primer article series. I also created just recently groups for fans of the Cirque at popular video sharing sites and networks (see the “More Resources” section further up in this article). I learned a lot more about the Cirque since the last time I wrote extensively about them.
I saw most of Cirque du Soleil shows so far, with the exception of “Criss Angel Believe“, “Ovo“, “Zaia“, “Zed” and “Wintuk“, but I guess that it is a reason to go to New York City one of these days to be able to watch it, right? “Believe” is somewhat cursed or something like that (almost like with “Zumanity” was a couple of years ago). Whenever I was in Las Vegas, the show was not running as it was supposed to. 1st a delayed premiere and the second time several months later, the show performers had vacation for two weeks :(. I will wait for “Ovo” to come to California. “Zed” and “Zaia” will be a bit more complicated. I guess I will have to wait for the DVD recordings of the shows in order to see it.
I am not working for Cirque du Soleil and have no insider contacts or knowledge. The information found in my articles were collected from numerous public sources on the Internet and offline (e.g. at Cirque du Soleil shows and venues). The officials at Cirque du Soleil actually don’t know yet, if they should love or hate me. This is nicely illustrated by the second part of this blog post of mine from September 2008.
My Previous Cirque du Soleil Related Blog Posts
Excluded from this list are the posts that make up the Cirque du Soleil Primer, such as list of shows, music releases, history Etc. Some posts were already mentioned somewhere in this primer article, but I decided to include those in this list again.
Posts made in 2006
Posts made in 2007
- I Admit It. I am a CirqueFAN. Deal With It!!!
- One Less!
- Cirque Du Soleil Goes Super Bowl with LOVE
- Cirque Du Soleil Show Update
- Kooza Video, Le Reve Update and More Cirque Du Soleil
Posts made in 2008
- Special Cirque Du Soleil Videos
- Special Cirque du Soleil Zumanity Videos and more
- Cirque du Soleil’s KA Extreme and Delirium Videos
- Criss Angel and Cirque du Soleil – ‘Believe’
- New Cirque du Soleil Videos, A World Record and More Cirque
- From Cirque over Hoola Hoops to Dytec PC
- Cirque du Soleil – Criss Angel, new Tokyo and Macao Shows Updates
- Cirque du Soleil’s Delirium Coming to Movie Theaters
- Cirque du Soleil & Criss Angel’s ‘Believe’ – A Special Sneak Preview
- Cirque du Soleil’s Music Concert ‘Delirium’ Video
- Kooza DVD and Cirque C&D; Letter
- Cirque du Soleil Delirium Encore
- Negative Feedback for Criss Angel’s and Cirque du Soleil’s ‘Believe’
- Cirque Du Soleil: 20 Years Under the Sun – A Book Review
Posts made in 2009
- Extended Cirque du Soleil KA and Love Videos
- Cirque du Soleil – Complaints and Suggestions Revisited
- Where is the Delirium DVD by Cirque du Soleil?
- Cirque du Soleil in Lecce, Italy – KA Show Videos
- New Cirque du Soleil Show Ovo
- About Cirque du Soleil, the Guinness Book of World Records & a lot of Stilts
- What is Your Favorite Cirque du Soleil Show?
- World Record by Three Cirque du Soleil Teenage Performers
- Alegria 25th Anniversary Ed. & Cirque du Soleil ‘25′ Album
- Cirque du Soleil File Archive
- Cirque du Soleil’s Inside La Nouba and In the Heart of Dralion
- Cirque du Soleil Show Names and their Meanings
- Imagine The Beatles in Love and 20 Years Under the Sun
Posts made in 2010
To be continued …