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After touring select cities across the United States and Canada, Quidam once again bids adieu to North America and embarked on a year-long tour of Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun, visiting Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and Fukuoka. Alegría continues its second North American Tour, joining Varekai and Dralion.

In cooperation with Cirque du Soleil Images, the television documentary series "Fire Within" airs in the United States; an intimate and revealing behind-the-scenes look at the effort and struggles during the creation of Varekai. The series wins an Emmy award plus two Gemini awards. The show itself was filmed late in its run in Toronto and released to VHS/DVD in autumn.

While Quidam tours Japan throughout the year, by summer (July) the adults-only show ZUMANITY premieres at the New York-New York Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Created by Dominic Chapagne and René Richard Cyr, it's the first Cirque du Soleil production for adults only. The company serves as creative content provider for MGM Mirage, for which Cirque is exploring ideas ranging from restaurants to nightclubs to other theatrical shows, Lamarre says. The financial arrangement between Cirque and MGM Mirage remains much the same since the day Wynn and Laliberte, now 43, shook hands. Each party funds half of the production cost of a new show -- in the case of Zumanity, $10 million apiece. MGM Mirage pays for the theatre -- more than $41 million to retrofit the existing hall at New York-New York and $138 million for the MGM Grand project. The big expenses are amortized, and profits are split 50-50. If attendance falls below a certain level, the show will close. Zumanity joines Mystère and «O» on the Las Vegas Strip.

And, by year's end, Cirque du Soleil films its first ever production for Television called "Solstrom". "Solstrom", a 13-part family-oriented television variety series that merges acrobatic acts with dramatic comedy, features over 250 artists in over 130 acts from many of Cirque du Soleil shows and includes a number of celebrity guest performances.

A similar variety of performances would mark Cirque du Soleil's fourth turn at the Royal Variety Performance gala in London. This year, Paul Bowler would perform his Cube Act from Mystere with an Angel from Alegria and a Dralion from Dralion.

2002 2004

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