Millennium goes inside the Cirque Du Soleil

Jul 12,2013

Touring entertainment company, Cirque Du Soleil, is in town with their hit show Algeria. From the humble beginnings of two street performers Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix from Quebec, Canada in 1984, Cirque Du Soleil has since gone on to dazzle and amaze almost 100 million people world-wide. The two-and-a-half hour show is limbering-up for its UK tour, and with an international cast of 55 performers and musicians from 17 countries, the show is bound to impress. Hold your breath for the entertainment highlight of the summer, showcasing gravity-defying acrobatics and trapeze artists that promise to astound audiences of all ages.

Fun for all the family, you can see the spectacle right here in London - showing at the 02 Arena from Thursday 18th July through to Sunday 21st July 2013. With tickets costing between £45 and £55, why not book now to see the dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment from this Canadian entertainment company?

With the arena located right in the heart of London, the show welcomes audience members from both near and far. For those travelling internationally to see the spectacular show at the 02, then there are plenty of places welcoming of a stop-over. Staying at one of the London hotels, such as Millennium Gloucester Hotel London, can provide you with a home away from home whilst on your stay here in London.

Cirque Du Soleil, meaning Circus of the Sun, set-out to deliver circus entertainment with a difference, opting for a theatrical, character-driven approach. Still, to this day, the premise remains the same - a contemporary circus (nouveau cirque) that continues to deliver to its audiences. It all began with the early dreams of a young Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil, which inspired him to build the entertainment empire. After touring Europe as a folk musician, he returned to Canada to learn the art of fire breathing. Throughout the years, Laliberté tried his hand at a number of ventures, succeeding in performing to a number of audiences, all of which were well received, but never lasting a lengthy duration due to financial failure.

It was in 1983 when he really landed on his feet. Having gained notable success and moderate financial reward from his touring festival La Fête Foraine, the government of Quebec asked him to host a production to celebrate the 450th anniversary of French explorer Jacques Cartier and delivered him a $1.5 million grant to support his creation. He named his performance, Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil. Throughout the next few years, the show had difficulty taking off. It was with this set-back that Laliberté considered rejuvenating the overall image of Cirque du Soleil from a group of street performers, to a 'proper circus'. With the introduction of Guy Caron as Artistic Director and later Franco Dragone, their vision was united and plans started to take off.

In 1987, although still suffering financially, Cirque Du Soleil travelled to perform at the Los Angeles Arts Festival, hoping to drum up some interest. The festival turned out to be a success and gained them the much-needed financial support and interest by audiences and critics. Within a year, there were reports of artistic differences within the group which resulted in Caron leaving the company, delaying proceedings slightly. After a number of disagreements regarding artistic direction, creative environment and staging, Franco Dragone was rewarded full creative control of the shows environment, with Laliberté overseeing the entire production. Dragone and Laliberté were united on their vision, and together created a new show - Nouvelle Expérience - which was a huge success. By the early 1990's, Cirque Du Soleil began to take off. They continued to work on a new shows, including Saltimbanco in 1992, Mystère in 1993 and then, of course, Algeria which opened in Montreal in 1994.

Algeria was a step away from the bright lights circus, to something a little darker. The name of the show translates to 'joy' or 'jubilation' in Spanish, however in contrast to its name, the story which is set out as part ballet, part circus and part fairy tale follows themes of power, conflict and struggle. Algeria is a classic Cirque Due Soleil production, showcasing some of their finest acrobatic, artistic talents. Since its premiere, the show has gone on to wow audiences of over 10 million people across several countries on its extensive tour. So, what can you expect from the show? Algeria delivers high adrenaline air acrobatics, synchronised choreography, a trampoline routine consisting of spectacular summersaults, balancing acts and an overall display of strength and agility.

Over twenty shows have since followed Algeria, some of which have successfully toured world-wide, others broke down boundaries and delivered performing highs. More recently, Cirque Du Soleil have been fortunate to work on two Michael Jackson-based performance shows: The Immortal World Tour and One. They continue to work on further projects, special events and are keen to build on their portfolio of shows. With rumours of a new touring show, Cirque 2014, on the horizon, just in time to celebrate the company's 30th anniversary, now is a great time to go and experience one of their most successful awe-inspiring shows first-hand.

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