Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Never let it be said that just because you come from a small town you can't do something big.
I recently attended my first ever Cirque du Soleil show Kurios - Cabinet of Curiosities. A number of Haliburton folks and I were in the audience thanks
to Julie Barban who continues to organize adventures to the performing arts.
The show was stunning. It is set in the turn of the last century when the spirit of invention was
all around. It's as if the audience steps into the cabinet of an inventor who is experimenting with time, space dimension in order to reinvent everything around him. The costumes and the sets are stunning and
mysterious. Steam engines, electric lights, moving pictures and flying machines have all
just been discovered or are about to be. New machines and gadgets appear in every scene.
Live music throughout the entire show is delightful.
There were times where I laughed my head off. Other times I was totally delighted and in awe.
One scene, called the Upside Down World was one of the most amazing things I have ever seen on a stage.
Cirque de Soleil comes out of a small town.
It began to take shape in the early 1980s in Baie-Saint-Paul, a beautiful village of about 8,000 people that is found on the north shore of the St-Lawrence River, east of Quebec City. Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul ("The Stiltwalkers of Baie-Saint-Paul"), a
theatre troupe founded by Gilles Ste-Croix, walked on stilts, juggled, danced, breathed fire and played music.
These young entertainers, among whom was Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, constantly impressed and delighted Baie-Saint-Paul's residents.
In 1984, during Quebec's 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada, province sought an event that would take the
festivities to all Quebecers. Guy Laliberté convinced organizers the answer was a provincial tour of
Cirque du Soleil performers and it hasn't stopped since!
Cirque du Soleil is a Quebec-based company recognized all over the world for high-quality, artistic entertainment. Since its beginning in 1984, Cirque
du Soleil has constantly sought to evoke the imagination, senses and emotions of people around the world. In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil.
Today, the business has 4,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists.
At the Montreal International Headquarters alone, there are close to 1,500 employees. More than 100 types of occupations can be found at Cirque. The company's
employees and artists represent more than 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages.
Close to 150 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984. Close to 15 million people will see a Cirque du Soleil show in 2014. Cirque
du Soleil hasn't received any grants from the public or private sectors since 1992.
It takes a vision and a lot of hard work to build something that lasts, but it possible.