La Nouba is the meeting of two worlds poles apart: the fantastic world of the circus artists — the Cirques (circus people), sporting bright, fluorescent colors — and that of the Urbains (urbanites), who wear dark, monochromatic outfits. When these two worlds first make contact, the magic and amazing feats of the one set fire to the pale mundanity of the other.
Where It All Began
It all started in Baie-Saint-Paul, a small town near Quebec City in Canada. There, in the early 80s, a band of colorful characters roamed the streets, striding on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire and playing music. They were Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul — the Baie-Saint-Paul Stilt walkers — a street theatre group founded by Gilles Ste-Croix. Already, the townsfolk were impressed and intrigued by the young performers, including Guy LalibertÃ©, who founded Cirque du Soleil®.
In 1984, Quebec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Lalibert presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil, which literally means Circus of the Sun, and succeeded in convincing the organizers. Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since.
The Face Of Cirque Today
Cirque du Soleil employs more than 1,300 artists. The company’s employees and artists represent nearly 50 nationalities and speak 25 different languages. Close to 155 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984 and countless more will see a Cirque du Soleil show in the years to come.
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