Cirque du Soleil began in Quebec with two street performers (Guy Lalibert and Daniel Gauthier) back in 1982 and called their small group of young street performers ‘The High Heels club’ and decided to put on a small festival for the audience. By 1984 Cirque du Soleil was born, the name meaning ‘Circus of the sun’ in French. The main philosophy or aim of Cirque du Soleil is creativity and innovation of the circus to redefine the entertainment landscape, and thrill audiences around the world.
Since its inception, Cirque du Soleil has created a lot of shows with incredibly different themes and issues.
The most popular of these shows are: Saltimbanco- explores the urban experience in all its myriad forms, Alegria-explores power and the handing down of power over time, the evolution from ancient monarchies to modern democracies, old age, youth. Quidam-it could be anyone, anybody. Someone coming, going, living in our anonymous society. A member of the crowd, one of the silent majority.
Dralion- Dralion derives much of its inspiration from Eastern philosophy with its perpetual quest for harmony between humankind and nature.
Varekai- production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai. Cirque du Soleil captures many dramatic forms including acts from contortionists, jugglers, feats of strength, clowning, dance, mime, light climates, puppeteers, stage maneuvers, comedy, interaction with public, acrobats and trapeze artists. An example of your typical act, is a man in a mouse wheel, being spun around in 360° circles, doing tricks that amaze the audience because of the manipulation of gravity.
Also, Cirque du Soleil does not make use of any such animals. Traditionally, Cirque du Soleil shows do not use pre-recorded music, with exceptions; all music is played live and in many circumstances sung live by singers with magnificent voices. The costumes used in the show are always very elaborate, or if flexibility is needed the costumes can be plain but are usually colourful and creative, matching the theme of the show. The sets for the shows are typically amazing again always matching the culture being performed on stage.
Cirque Du Soleil has a vast range of characters in the huge number of performances and the company itself has over 4000 employees and 1000 artists. Characters in the performance are always bright, colourful and extremely skillful and always are doing amazing tricks that depict the theme of the show or that can lighten and entertain the audience. As the performance goes on most of the time you enter the life of some of the characters as they tell their life story (normally the host) and interact more and more with the audience.