Cirque du Soleil Celebrates 30 Years under the Sun - CircusTalk

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Cirque du Soleil Celebrates 30 Years under the Sun

As 2014 draws to a close, the most successful circus company in history celebrates its 30th anniversary by looking back at its past, taking stock of its present, and looking forward to the next 30 years.
By now, the facts of Cirque du Soleil’s provenance are well known: In 1984, the province of Quebec, through the personal intervention of the premier, who took an interest in the project, awarded a $1.5 million one-year grant to Guy Laliberté, a member of Gilles Ste-Croix’s street theater troupe, to organize a circus to commemorate of the 450th anniversary of French explorer Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada. But how did that local, short-term show grow into one of the most successful live entertainment producers in the world? First of all, Quebec in 1984 might have been the perfect time and place to start a circus. Circus arts were going through a renaissance that was taking a different form in Europe from in North America. In the United States, the Big Apple Circus and the Pickle Family Circus were “bringing back” traditional circus, presenting intimate, one-ring shows that focused on artistry rather than the spectacle and consumerism that...
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Viveca Gardiner

Viveca is president of Playful Productions, director of youth programs for Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, and a coach at Circus of the Kids. She edits CircusNYC and JuggleNYC. She has also been a director at the Big Apple Circus and a contributing editor of JUGGLE magazine. She performs as a juggler, ringmistress, unicyclist, and stilt walker, and she has published two commissioned study guides on the history and artistry of circus arts. She might have sawdust in her veins.