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  2008

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CIRQUE BELIEVES IN ASIA

Having conquered North America, Europe, and Australia, Cirque du Soleil looks to expand its presence throughout Asia in a huge way. First, through the launch of two new resident shows – the first shows of their kind outside the United States of America: ZAIA, a production for The Venetian Hotel & Casino on the Cotai Strip in Macao, China; and ZED, a production for the Tokyo Disney Resort in Tokyo, Japan.

Cirque du Soleil says they are also interested in magic shows, live comedy, and even Ice Capade-type shows, even if its fans are not. The company rarely does market surveys to determine what people want to see. “If we did that, we would be following trends, which is precisely what we do not want to do,” says Chantal Côté, the company’s senior publicist. “We’ll do minor adjustments according the public’s reaction, but we’ll never make drastic changes. Somehow, we’ve always managed to stay ahead of people’s expectations.”

In order to further finance the company’s goals, Cirque du Soleil sells a 20% stake in the company to two investment groups out of Dubai. The agreement allows Cirque to keep control of their creative challenges and operations while accelerating their growth doing projects all over the world. Nakheel and Istithmar are part of Dubai World, a diversified holding company owned by the government of Dubai. The company also unveiled long term plans to establish its brand in Russia, through the creation of Cirque du Soleil Rus., a Russian LLC company having the exclusive rights to the Russian territory.

Also launched was Criss Angel – beLIEve" at the Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, the first production to involve a celebrity and star in his own right. DELIRIUM, which held its last concert in London on April 19th, finds its way into movie theatres for a big-screen format special.

Cirque du Soleil's tribute to The Beatles "A Day In The Life” and Carol Woods & Timmy Mitchums (from "Across the Universe") performance of "Let It Be" garners attention at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California. And Cirque also performs "Awakening of the Serpent" for Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, Spain. Cirque also created a special show to celebrate Quebec's 400th Anniversary, which was performed 5 times on three days at the Colisée Pepsi in Québec City. In December, Cirque du Soleil presented an almost 1 hour long special one-time performance at the "La Notte Bianca" festival and street performances in Lecce, an ancient and annually celebrated event, in Italy, Europe.



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