ARTS bY INSPIRATION MAGAZINE
The Cirque du Soleil was founded in 1984 following a project initiated a few years earlier by a couple of members of the staff of the Balcon Vert (Green Balcony) youth hostel in Baie-Saint-Paul, Qc, on the northern shore of the Saint Lawrence River. The first major milestone that paved the way for what today we know today as Cirque du Soleil, was the founding of the street performance troupe Les Échassiers de la Baie (The Bay Stiltwalkers) in 1980, bringing together craftspeople who explored innovative cultural experiences, and who were primarily influenced and inspired by Gilles Ste-Croix. Before the start of the season, Guy Laliberté unexpectedly showed up at the Balcon Vert in Baie-Saint-Paul. He had been originally hired to work on a hydroelectric power plant in the James Bay region, where he hoped to quickly earn some money to finance his studies in nuclear engineering, but his projects were thwarted by a strike that brought the work to a standstill. Laliberté thus found himself stranded in Baie-Saint-Paul, where he accepted a job as an entertainer in return for a roof over his head. Guy “Slipper” Laliberté was very involved in the scene and would even run as a candidate for the Rhinoceros Party in 1980, proposing, among other projects, to suspend a bridge made out of macrame between the city of Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive and the island of Ile aux Coudres… an initiative that would reflect Guy Laliberté’s particular originality and creativity.
After his studies in administration, Daniel Gauthier worked as both a manager and an accountant for the Balcon Vert. The future core of the Cirque du Soleil squad had gathered. As of today, the Canadian Organization has brought wonder and delight to over 190 million viewers with productions presented in 450 cities in 60 countries.
The Cirque du Soleil Group currently employs more than 4,000 people, including 1,400 artists from more than 50 different countries. Alegría was born in 1994, when the Cirque du Soleil was barely 10 years old. The theme song Alegría, composed by René Dupéré and performed by Francesca Gagnon, was a bestselling international success. This is the first time that the Cirque du Soleil has revisited an earlier production of its own in its entirety. New costumes, new artists and new numbers immerse us under the Big Top into the nostalgia of Alegría portraying the transition from darkness into the light and emphasizing the duality between these two forces.
Mr. Fleur (Mr. Flower), former fool of the king, seizes the rod of power and in so doing becomes, king himself. Then the aristocrats make their entrance, quite flamboyant in their theatricality and costume, along with clowns, nymphs and other performances that propel the artists to excellence, escorted by two singers, one dressed all in white and another in black, who interpret Alegría’s new musical pieces in several different languages. A show that features both the prodigy and the feat of the motion of the human body.