The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Cirque du Soleil performs in Dallas through December

From a small group of young street entertainers to a worldrenowned success, Cirque Du Soleil dreams “of imbuing our newprojects with the energy and inspiration that are the essence ofour shows. And we want to help young people express theirdreams…and make them come true,” says Cirque’smanagement.

As Cirque Du Soleil celebrates its 20th anniversary,Dallas’ Grand Chapoteau at Fair Park presents Cirque’slatest touring production of Varekai, from Nov. 4 to Dec. 5,2004.

Varekai, which in Romany language means “whenever,”journeys the adventure of a solitary nomad.

Parachuting into an enchanted forest of vibrant creatures, thisyoung man begins a quest to an enchanted world called Varekai.

Judy Love Rondeau, public relations president for Cirque DuSoleil in Dallas states, “This show fills you with joy andyou will leave filled with awe at the talent you see and a smilefor the unique story that is portrayed. This show is a triumph ofartistry, costuming, acrobatics and modern dance that will capturethe audiences with its beauty and wonder.”

The cast includes more than 50 artists from 13 differentcountries. The show began two and a half years ago and is filledwith even more talent than any other Cirque show Dallas has everseen.

Affecting millions around the world, one spectator who feelstruly passionate about Cirque is an SMU student, Lauren Shults.

Speaking about a show Shults once saw, she states, “It wasamazing to watch the acrobatic performers. It was by far one of thebest shows I’ve ever been to. Throughout the wholeperformance, I was in awe of their artistic ability.”

Cirque Du Soleil, founded in June 1984, has developed into aphenomenal artistic movement.

Guy Laliberte, founder and chief executive officer explains,”Today we still dream of enriching the lives of all those whocross our path through our actions and our creativity.”

From a simple dream of a few aspiring actors, Lailiberte foundeda true sensation.

In the early eighties a group of street performers meandered thestreets in a small town near Quebec City, Canada. Lailiberete andother performers danced, played music, juggled, walked on stilts,and breathed fire, amazing everyone around them.

The group later became Le Club des talon hauts (the HighHeels Club) and dreamt of traveling the world and establishing aQuebec extravaganza. Doing just that, Laliberte proposed a showcalled Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) to celebrate the 450thanniversary of Canada’s discovery.

Today, Cirque performs a wide variety of innovative shows andpresents them under numerous big tops or in theatres around theworld.

“As individuals, we are united by one overriding goal: toentertain, uplift and enlighten audiences,” saysCirque’s management on its Web site.

Touring nearly 250 places in roughly 100 cities, Cirque hasimpressed more than 40 million viewers all over the globe.

Having seen Varekai, SMU student, Bowen Hendrix states,”It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before and Idefinitely recommend it to first time viewers.”

Among its 15 different productions (Cirque du Soeil, La MagieContinue, We Reinvent the Circus, Nouvelle Experience, Fascination,A collaboration with Cirque Knie, Saltimbanco, Mystere, Alegria,Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Dralion, Varekai, and Zumanity),Cirque has received numerous awards for its creativity and artistictalent.

However, Cirque would not be a success without the thousands ofemployees who keep this growing program going.

Beginning with 73 people, Cirque today employs 3,000 performers,300 artists and numerous creators and designers.

A vast array of over 40 nationalities and 25 different languagesrepresent a wide variety of cultures throughout the world.

“Cirque du Soleil is a family of diverse individuals fromall corners of the globe and all walks of life. And Cirque isdedicated to respecting the individuality and unique point of viewof each person woven into humanity’s rich tapestry,”said Cirque’s management.

Over 50 creators and numerous performers have aided in thepresentation of each show. Before performers are hired, they mustattend a training camp at the Creation Studio located in theInternational Headquarters in Montreal which lasts anywhere from afew weeks to a few months.

Throughout each camp, trainers, physiotherapists and fitnessspecialists oversee the program “to keep performers in goodhealth, help maximize their physical potential, and ensure anoptimal environment for their development.”

All the costumes are specially made, so the artists”…are kept busy making the 20,000 or so items (hats,shoes, dresses, swimwear, etc.) required for Cirque’s ninerunning shows,” says Cirque’s management.

Each artist constantly thinks of creative ideas to make costumesunique but also comfortable for the performer.

“The costume’s vibrant colors and intricate detailreally light up the stage,” says Shults.

Along with performing, Cirque has dedicated themselves to theircommunity’s growth.

They are constantly immersing themselves in cultural andartistic endeavors as well as contributing and consuming themselveswith cultural development.

Helping youth at risk, Cirque aims to fight poverty andinjustice around the world especially among street kids.

Each year, 1 percent of Cirque’s revenues go to programsbenefiting youth in difficulty.

Many programs allow youth at risk a chance to express themselvesby exploring their creativity and artistic abilities.

“The rationale and values behind Cirque’s socialaction are grounded in their history where youth, risk, dream, andmarginality come together for a better world,” saidCirque’s management.

Once just a dream for a few street performers, Cirque hasdeveloped into a huge success affecting millions all over theworld.

Reflecting upon the dream of its past, Cirque has succeeded”partly because there were older people who believed in them,regardless of their age, image or status as streetperformers.”

As Rondeau states, “It has been my pleasure to work withCirque du Soleil for the past two years as their public relationsfirm in the Dallas market.

“As a proud Canadian….Cirque du Soleil is truly one ofCanada’s treasures.”

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