red tulips | copyright Jill J. Jensen

 

 

Cirque du Soliel

from local street performance to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and around the world

 

Cirque du Soliel may be the best current example of mindful creative artistry. From their roots in the 1980s as a motley crew of street performers, and with the determination of their French-Canadian founder Guy Laliberté, they honed their artistic and athletic abilities, taught themselves the necessary entrepreneurial business skills, and settle for nothing less than full-out excellence.

Whether you watch these amazing acrobats on TV, DVD, or in person, you find yourself enchanted by the scenery and music, holding your breath as you wait for them to catch each other in mid-air, leap from the rafters into a giant pool of water on stage, trampoline across boxes and bodies, move with controlled strength while lifting partners who weigh as much as they do, or pull themselves up a pole perpendicularly — bodies taut at 90 degrees from vertical. As stunning as a train wreck, you just can't look away.

Not only is the toupe continually creating new extravaganzas such as Love, based on Beatles music, but they continue to perform around the world with several crews and shows in repertoire at once.

PBS has broadcast versions of Saltimbanco and others. On the website, you can sample some of this activity and see what's ahead. You'll also find links to information about their background and music, a boutique, and social action partnerships that continue to support street performers, as well as other causes near and dear, such as Oxfam.

 

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