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Cirque du Soleil [ You are here: Grand Chapiteau | Historia | 2008 ]




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  "The Chinese in Shenyang, they have a show where they put up 250 artists," says Ste-Croix. "They do pretty much everything you can do with acrobatics -- balancing on your thumb and standing on your teeth -- how can you beat that? So we chose to be more romantic, more lyric and to have moments of poetry that theatre can give. This we are good at and the Chinese haven't mastered that yet."
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 garners attention at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California in February. Twenty-five dancers and acrobats performed a specifically edited "Day in the Life" segment from LOVE opposite Carol Woods & Timmy Mitchum's performance of "Let it Be" from Across the Universe. Cirque received two nominations for its LOVE album - "Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television, or other Visual Medium" and "Best Surround Sound Album". It won both! The company also makes its way through the EXPO 2008 site in Zargoza, Spain with a day parade called Awakening the Serpent - featuring acts by artists from different disciplines: acrobatics, actors, gymnasts, singers and musicians .

In the corporate world, Cirque helped rebrand the UMW (United Motor Works), a Malaysian Business in Automotive, Equipment, Manufacturing & Engineering and Oil & Gas, with a show that included an extensive performance by the performers of Alegria; performed at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) conference for Nakheel, where a Green Bird from La Nouba, and Fleur and an Old Bird from Alegria worked the crowd, but the main attraction was a hand-to-hand performance; entertained about 5,500 General Motors Europe stakeholders and representatives from 69 countries that met in Cologne, Germany with a 40-minute performance using the video infrastructure installed by GM (a 60-foot by 300-foot screen and projectors - see pictures below); helped support the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) through a very special and private event called "Forever Young", held at Cipriani, a prestigious restaurant on East 42nd Street in NYC; and helped Infiniti, the official sponsor of Cirque's touring shows in Canada this year, launch a 30-second spot, which brilliantly showcased the two brands. The advert featured a specially dyed yellow silk tissu and the driving portion of the commercial was filmed in the Ville-Marie Tunnel in Montreal.

Cirque du Soleil Special Events would round out the year with by creating a special show to celebrate Quebec's 400th Anniversary, which was performed 5 times on three days at the Colisée Pepsi in Québec City; and performed an hour-long special one-time performance at the "La Notte Bianca" festival with "Il Sogno di Volare", a street performance in Lecce, an ancient and annually celebrated event, in Italy.

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