Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 by street performers Guy Laliberte and Gilles Ste-Croix. A Canadian entertainment company self-described as a mix of circus arts and street entertainment, the first toured Quebec in 1980.
In 1983, they received a grant from the government of Canada and their Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success. Once they received another year’s worth of funding, they recreated their show as a proper circus, though their lack of animals and character driven performances define the Cirque du Soleil as a contemporary circus.
Every show combines different styles of circus performing from across the globe around a central theme and story with continuous live music, while performers change out the props and backdrops instead of traditional stagehands.
Growth and Popularity
The Cirque du Soleil had a period of rapid growth and expansion in the 1990s and 2000s, going from a single performance to performances on nearly every continent – the exception being Antarctica. With a permanent show in Las Vegas getting 9000 visitors per performance, more than 90 million people from around the world have experienced the Cirque’s unique blend of art and performance.
And the Cirque du Soleil continues to grow, with plans for shows the world over, and new residency shows in the planning stages. A television deal is also in the works, along with a clothing line and other ventures. With all this going on, the award-winning Cirque du Soleil shows no sign of slowing down.
Tickets are on sale now for their many upcoming performances in 2013, so grab a few tickets and take your family and friends to see one of the most unique and entertaining shows on the planet.