SOLEIL DE MINUIT (20 Years)
Cirque du Soleil has chosen the theme "20 Years Under the Sun" for its 20th
anniversary celebrations, which officially begin June 16. Cirque wishes to underscore
this major milestone on the extraordinary road it has travelled, and proud that even
though it has come far, it has maintained its youthful energy.
For many of Cirque du Soleil's 3,000 employees, the past 20 years seem to have gone
by in a flash. The fire and drive of those early days are still with us, pushing the
company and its creators to imagine and realize their wildest dreams and, like seeds
blown by the wind, take those dreams all across the planet.
That spirit of youth will permeate all of the activities being held to mark Cirque
du Soleil's 20th anniversary celebrations, beginning this year and extending into
2005. "We want the next 20 years to be in the image of our earliest years, with a
whole world out there to explore, and minds overflowing with ideas," says Guy
Laliberté, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Cirque du Soleil. "I'm proud of
what we've been able to achieve, but even more excited when I realize that our
mission is far from completed. And one thing's for sure: the road so far hasn't
been the least bit boring. I look forward to the future with such enthusiasm that
I feel the same sense of excitement as when I first started."
A look at some of the commemorative activities...
- A Book — A book about the history of the little company that never gave
up dreaming was long overdue. Every step in the unusual and fascinating journey of
Cirque du Soleil, from its origins in the village of Baie-Saint-Paul to its successes
on five continents, was revealed in a volume entitled
20 Years Under the Sun.
Stories, anecdotes and interviews with pioneers like Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix
and Serge Roy provided readers with an intimate, inside look at the ups and downs
of Cirque du Soleil. The book also delved into the inspirations of Cirque's show
- Music & Images — Music is one of the most powerful ways for anyone who has
seen a show to relive the memorable moments that make up "the Cirque du Soleil experience."
A box set comprising two remix CDs (Solarium
and Delirium) and a Compilation CD of the best
musical selections from Cirque shows over the years was released on Cirque du Soleil's
newest division - Cirque du Soleil Musique - a record company dedicated to the creation,
production, and marketing of the music associated with current and future Cirque du
Soleil shows, and to the career development of emerging artists from around the world.
(A Cirque du Soleil image gallery on DVD (Equilibrium) was planned but not released.)
- Partnerships — As a way of thanking Quebecers for their loyalty to Cirque since
the beginning, Cirque du Soleil partnered with the Festival International de Jazz de
Montréal to offer the public a special
gift on July 11th. This dual anniversary (the jazz fest celebrates its own 25th
anniversary this year, while Cirque du Soleil marks 20 years) was designed as a salute
to creativity and culture. A recording of this event is later broadcast under the name
"Midnight Sun" (Soleil de Minuit) and
released onto DVD.
- Art — Some 30 works of art from the Cirque du Soleil collection was
exhibited at Galerie l'Anse-au-ciel in Baie-Saint-Paul in the summer. The show was
open to all residents of the area as well as art-loving tourists.
- Stiltwalking — On Cirque du Soleil's actual anniversary day, employees were
invited to break out their stilts and join the attempt to set a new world record
for the largest number of stiltwalkers in one place at one time. For the record to
be recognized by Guinness, each entrant had to walk on stilts at least 12 inches high
and cover a distance of at least 100 metres. During the festivities, Cirque du Soleil
set a new record for the Guinness Book of World Records gathering 544 employees at
Headquarters to stilt walk.
- Time Capsule — In honor of Cirque du Soleil's 20th Anniversary, IHQ Cirquesters
put together a few selected mementos of the company safely away in a time capsule,
which is due to be opened no earlier than 2024. The artifacts inside paint a picture
of what Cirque du Soleil was at the time of burial, and a little bit of each any
every touring production and office site open at the time.
- Magazine Special — ZINK's November 2004 issue celebrates with artists
from Cirque du Soleil's Varekai.
IN OTHER NEWS...
On tour, Dralion leaves North America
bound for Europe at the beginning of the year, where it will complete an extensive
multi-year tour. Alegría continued its
North American Tour, but by year's end, the show is bound for Tokyo and the rest
of Japan. Quidam, which would end
its Japanese Tour in the early months of the year,
returned to Canada for a two-city run before embarking on a year-long tour throughout
Australia/New Zealand. And, in November, the biggest most epic show in Cirque du
Soleil history is born. Directed by Robert LePage, KÀ
is launched at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.