Cirque du Soleil ("Circus of the Sun") is by no means your grandpa’s circus. If you are expecting to watch tamed lions and elephants, this show may not be for you. However, if you are itching for something completely out of the ordinary, and an amazing feat of human acrobatics, Cirque du Soleil is one-of-a-kind. Cirque du Soleil has awed over 90 million people on every continent except Antarctica, and the performance has played host to royalty and celebrities alike. While Cirque has been around for many years, the popularity of this contemporary circus shows no signs of slowing. This is the modern circus.
Cirque du Soleil History
Originating in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Cirque du Soleil has actually been around since 1980, though it did not reach its international acclaim until years later. Founded by two street performers, Laliberté and Ste-Croix, these men envisioned a performance that would surpass the traditional circus tents and amaze audiences with acrobatic feats. While the company struggled during its first years, with the help of national grants and additional funding, what we now know as Cirque du Soleil was began to expand in the 1990s. Today, the company describes itself as being a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment".
Today, Cirque performs 21 shows and has 9 retired shows, but the circus is always looking for ways to add new and innovative plots to this contemporary shows. While the original idea behind Cirque was to remain a touring show, much like a traditional circus, its popularity soon allowed the company to claim residency in several major cities. Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Macau, China host resident shows, though Cirque has traveled to cities such as Moscow, London, Paris, New York, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Prague, Athens, Tel Aviv, Taipei, and many more.
Each of Cirque’s 21 running shows has a completely unique storyline, and while the overall show is focused on being abstract, there is a plot for you traditional theatre-goers. Cirque du Soleil has a show for everyone, ranging from comedies to dramas to burlesque; Cirque has striven to make their show accessible to every age group and interest.
Cirque du Soleil in Vegas
Las Vegas wins the medal for being host to the most resident Cirque du Soleil shows. If you want the most Cirque variety, the Vegas strip is the place to be. Entertaining over 9,000 guests a night, the Cirque du Soleil shows in Vegas are a huge draw to tourists and locals alike. While 2012 is a bit of a transition stage for some Cirque du Soleil shows, current and announced resident shows number 7, with an 8th show coming in 2013. Below find a list of shows to choose from when visiting Sin City.
Mystere: Treasure Island
This was the first Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, and the first resident Cirque show in the world. This classic is one of the original Cirque shows that still holds mystery for audiences.
Imagine the amazing acrobatics of Cirque du Soleil. Now imagine it underwater. With some of the highest technology in a Cirque show, 'O' is an incredible experience.
Kà: MGM Grand
Taking a different route for their other shows, 'Kà' focuses its story around martial arts.
Love: The Mirage
The Beatles are a huge hit in Vegas with Cirque's one-of-a-kind take on this classic music.
In a city where magic is king, Cirque du Soleil takes illusions to the next level.
Zarkana: Aria Resort & Casino
Replacing 'Viva Las Vegas' in fall 2012, is a dark story about a magician searching for his lost love.
Zumanity: New York, New York
Cirque du Soleil's own rendition of burlesque theatre, 'Zumanity' is a performance for adult audiences.
Michael Jackson: Mandalay Bay
Michael is landing in Las Vegas in 2013.