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Cirque du Soleil

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Type  Private company
Area served  Worldwide
Industry  Entertainment
Cirque du Soleil

Headquarters  Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Key people  Daniel Lamarre, President and CEO
Revenue  C$850 million (FY 2010)
Founded  1984, Baie-Saint-Paul, Canada
Founders  Guy Laliberté, Gilles Ste-Croix, Daniel Gauthier, Rachel Vertus
Albums  Saltimbanco, Joyà, Varekai
Albums  Alegría, Saltimbanco, Joyà, Le Best of Cirque du Soleil, Tapis Rouge
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Cirque du Soleil ([sɪʁk dzy sɔ.lɛj], "Circus of the Sun") is a Canadian entertainment company. It is the largest theatrical producer in the world. Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix.

Contents

Initially named Les Échassiers ([lez‿e.ʃa.sje], "The Waders"), they toured Quebec in 1980 as a performing troupe. Their initial financial hardship was relieved in 1983 by a government grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, as part of the 450th anniversary celebrations of Jacques Cartier's voyage to Canada. Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success in 1984, and after securing a second year of funding, Laliberté hired Guy Caron from the National Circus School to re-create it as a "proper circus". Its theatrical, character-driven approach and the absence of performing animals helped define Cirque du Soleil as the contemporary circus ("nouveau cirque") that it remains today.

Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with its own central theme and storyline. Shows employ continuous live music, with performers rather than stagehands changing the props. After financial successes and failures in the late 1980s, Nouvelle Expérience was created – with the direction of Franco Dragone – which not only made Cirque du Soleil profitable by 1990, but allowed it to create new shows.

Cirque du Soleil expanded rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Antarctica. The shows employ approximately 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million. The multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night, 5% of the city's visitors, adding to the 90 million people who have experienced Cirque du Soleil's shows worldwide.

In 2000, Laliberté bought out Gauthier, and with 95% ownership, has continued to expand the brand. In 2008, Laliberté split 20% of his share equally between two investment groups Istithmar World and Nakheel of Dubai, in order to further finance the company's goals. In partnership with these two groups, Cirque du Soleil had planned to build a residency show in the United Arab Emirates in 2012 directed by Guy Caron (Dralion) and Michael Curry. But since Dubai's financial problems in 2010 caused by the 2008 recession, it was stated by Laliberté that the project has been "put on ice" for the time being and may be looking for another financial partner to bankroll the company's future plans, even willing to give up another 10% of his share. Several more shows are in development around the world, along with a television deal, women's clothing line and the possible venture into other mediums such as spas, restaurants and nightclubs. Cirque du Soleil also produces a small number of private and corporate events each year (past clients have been the royal family of Dubai and the 2007 Super Bowl).

The company's creations have received numerous prizes and distinctions, including a Bambi Award in 1997, a Rose d'Or in 1989, three Drama Desk Awards in 1991, 1998 and 2013, three Gemini Awards, four Primetime Emmy Awards, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2000, Cirque du Soleil was awarded the National Arts Centre Award, a companion award of the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards. In 2002, Cirque du Soleil was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.

In 2015, TPG Capital, Fosun Industrial Holdings and Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec purchased 90% of Cirque du Soleil. The sale received regulatory approval from the Government of Canada on 30 June 2015.

How to pronounce cirque du soleil


Origins

At age 18, interested in pursuing some kind of performing career, Guy Laliberté quit college and left home. He toured Europe as a folk musician and busker. By the time he returned home to Canada in 1979, he had learned the art of fire breathing. Although he became "employed" at a hydroelectric power plant in James Bay, his job ended after only three days due to a labour strike. He decided not to look for another job, instead supporting himself on his unemployment insurance. He helped organize a summer fair in Baie-Saint-Paul with the help of a pair of friends named Daniel Gauthier and Gilles Ste-Croix.

Gauthier and Ste-Croix were managing a youth hostel for performing artists named Le Balcon Vert at that time. By the summer of 1979, Ste-Croix had been developing the idea of turning the Balcon Vert, and the talented performers who lived there, into an organized performing troupe. As part of a publicity stunt to convince the Quebec government to help fund his production, Ste-Croix walked the 56 miles (90 km) from Baie-Saint-Paul to Quebec City on stilts. The ploy worked, giving the three men the money to create Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul. Employing many of the people who would later make up Cirque du Soleil, Les Échassiers toured Quebec during the summer of 1980.

Although well received by audiences and critics alike, Les Échassiers was a financial failure. Laliberté spent that winter in Hawaii plying his trade while Ste-Croix stayed in Quebec to set up a nonprofit holding company named "The High-Heeled Club" to mitigate the losses of the previous summer. In 1981, they met with better results. By that fall, Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul had broken even. The success inspired Laliberté and Ste-Croix to organize a summer fair in their hometown of Baie-Saint-Paul.

This touring festival, called "La Fête Foraine", first took place in July 1982. La Fête Foraine featured workshops to teach the circus arts to the public, after which those who participated could take part in a performance. Ironically, the festival was barred from its own hosting town after complaints from local citizens. Laliberté managed and produced the fair over the next couple of years, nurturing it into a moderate financial success. But it was in 1983 that the government of Quebec gave him a $1.5 million grant to host a production the following year as part of Quebec's 450th anniversary celebration of the French explorer Jacques Cartier's discovery of Canada. Laliberté named his creation "Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil".

Shows

The duration of each touring show was traditionally split into two acts of an hour each separated by a 30-minute interval; however, as of 2014, due to cost cutting issues, the shows have now been reduced to a shorter 55-minute first act followed by a 50-minute second act, still including a 30-minute interval. Permanent shows are usually 90 minutes in length without any intermission. This excludes Joyà (the permanent show in Riviera Maya, Mexico), which is only 70 minutes in length. Typically touring shows as well as resident shows perform a standard 10 shows a week. Touring shows usually have one 'dark day' (with no performances) while resident shows have two.

Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil

Originally intended to only be a one-year project, Cirque du Soleil was scheduled to perform in 11 towns in Quebec over the course of 13 weeks running concurrent with the third La Fête Foraine. The first shows were riddled with difficulty, starting with the collapse of the big top after the increased weight of rainwater caused the central mast to snap. Working with a borrowed tent, Laliberté then had to contend with difficulties with the European performers. They were so unhappy with the Quebec circus's inexperience that they had, at one point, sent a letter to the media complaining about how they were being treated.

The problems were only transient, however, and by the time 1984 had come to a close, Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil was a success. Having only $60,000 left in the bank, Laliberté went back to the Canadian government to secure funding for a second year. While the Canadian federal government was enthusiastic, the Quebec provincial government was resistant to the idea. It was not until Quebec's premier, René Lévesque, intervened on their behalf that the provincial government relented. The original big top tent that was used during the 1984 Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil tour can now be seen at Carnivàle Lune Bleue, a 1930s-style carnival that is home to the Cirque Maroc acrobats.

La Magie Continue

After securing funding from the Canadian government for a second year, Laliberté took steps to renovate Cirque du Soleil from a group of street performers into a "proper circus". To accomplish this he hired the head of the National Circus School, Guy Caron, as Cirque du Soleil's artistic director. The influences that Laliberté and Caron had in reshaping their circus were extensive. They wanted strong emotional music that was played from beginning to end by musicians. They wanted to emulate the Moscow Circus' method of having the acts tell a story. Performers, rather than a technical crew, move equipment and props on and off stage so that it did not disrupt the momentum of the "storyline". Most importantly, their vision was to create a circus with neither a ring nor animals. The rationale was that the lack of both of these things draws the audience more into the performance.

To help design the next major show, Laliberté and Caron hired Franco Dragone, another instructor from the National Circus School who had been working in Belgium. When he joined the troupe in 1985, he brought with him his experience in commedia dell'arte techniques, which he imparted to the performers. Although his experience would be limited in the next show due to budget restraints, he would go on to direct every show up to, but not including Dralion.

By 1986, the company was once again in serious financial trouble. During 1985 they had taken the show outside Quebec to a lukewarm response. In Toronto they performed in front of a 25% capacity crowd after not having enough money to properly market the show. Gilles Ste-Croix, dressed in a monkey suit, walked through downtown Toronto as a desperate publicity stunt. A later stop in Niagara Falls turned out to be equally problematic.

Several factors prevented the company from going bankrupt that year. The Desjardins Group, which was Cirque du Soleil's financial institution at the time, covered about $200,000 of bad checks. Also, a financier named Daniel Lamarre, who worked for one of the largest public relations firms in Quebec, represented the company for free, knowing that they didn't have the money to pay his fee. The Quebec government itself also came through again, granting Laliberté enough money to stay solvent for another year.

Le Cirque Réinventé

In 1987, after Laliberté re-privatized Cirque du Soleil, it was invited to perform at the Los Angeles Arts Festival. Although they continued to be plagued by financial difficulties, Normand Latourelle took the gamble and went to Los Angeles, despite only having enough money to make a one-way trip. Had the show been a failure, the company would not have had enough money to get their performers and equipment back to Montreal.

The festival turned out to be a huge success, both critically and financially. The show attracted the attention of entertainment executives, including Columbia Pictures, which met with Laliberté and Gauthier under the pretense of wanting to make a movie about Cirque du Soleil. Laliberté was unhappy with the deal, claiming that it gave too many rights to Columbia, which was attempting to secure all rights to the production. Laliberté pulled out of the deal before it could be concluded, and that experience stands out as a key reason why Cirque du Soleil remained independent and privately owned for 28 years, until Guy Laliberte announced in April 2015 that he was selling his majority stake to a group headed by a U.S. private equity firm, and its Chinese partners.

In 1988, Guy Caron left the company due to artistic differences over what to do with the money generated by Cirque du Soleil's first financially successful tour. Laliberté wanted to use it to expand and start a second show while Caron wanted the money to be saved, with a portion going back to the National Circus School. An agreement was never met and Caron, along with a large number of artists loyal to him, departed. This stalled plans that year to start a new touring show.

Laliberté sought out Gilles Ste-Croix as replacement for the artistic director position. Ste-Croix, who had been away from the company since 1985, agreed to return. The company went through more internal troubles, including a failed attempt to add Normand Latourelle as a third man to the partnership. This triumvirate lasted only six months before internal disagreements prompted Gauthier and Laliberté to buy out Latourelle. By the end of 1989, Cirque du Soleil was once again in a deficit.

Fascination

With Saltimbanco finished and touring in the United States and Canada, Cirque du Soleil toured Japan in the summer of 1992 at the behest of the Fuji Television Network. Taking acts from Nouvelle Expérience and Cirque Réinventé, they created a show for this tour, titled Fascination. Although Fascination was never seen outside Japan, it represented the first time that Cirque du Soleil had produced a show that took place in an arena rather than a big top. It was also the first that Cirque du Soleil performed outside of North America.

Knie Presents Cirque du Soleil

Also in 1992, Cirque du Soleil made its first collaboration with Switzerland's Circus Knie in a production named Knie Presents Cirque du Soleil that toured for nine months from 20 March to 29 November 1992 through 60 cities in Switzerland, opening in Rapperswil and closing in Bellinzona. The production merged Circus Knie's animal acts with Cirque du Soleil's acrobatic acts. The stage resembled that of Cirque du Soleil's previous shows La Magie Continue and Le Cirque Reinventé, but was modified to accommodate Circus Knie's animals. The show also featured acts seen previously in Le Cirque Reinventé, including:

  • The prologue
  • Les Pingouins (Korean plank)
  • Slack wire
  • Tower on Wheels
  • Trick cycling
  • Future productions

  • Luna Petunia: It was announced on 11 October 2014 that in partnership with Saban Brands, Cirque du Soleil Media would produce an animated children's (pre-school aged) series called Luna Petunia and the showrunner was announced as children's TV writer Bradley Zweig. The plot revolves around a little girl who plays in a dreamland where she learns how to make the impossible possible. It will be shown on Netflix around September–November 2016.
  • The Wiz: In a collaboration with NBC, Cirque du Soleil will help produce both a live-television broadcast and Broadway revival of The Wiz. The broadcast will premiere December 2015 on NBC, the revival following soon after in the 2016-2017 season. Tony Award-winning director Kenny Leon will direct both productions with Broadway writer/actor Harvey Fierstein, who will be contributing new material to the original Broadway book. Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, Stephanie Mills, Ne-Yo, David Alan Grier, Common, Elijah Kelley, Amber Riley, and Uzo Aduba and newcomer Shanice Williams are set to star. Additional casting and creative team announcements will be made later.
  • Sep7imo Dia: No descansaré: In partnership with Argentine promoters PopArt and Triple, Cirque du Soleil is producing a new touring show based on the rock band Soda Stereo, which will premiere on 9 March 2017 in Buenos Aires and run until 16 April 2017 before going to Cordoba, Argentina from 25-28 May; Lima, Peru from 17-21 June; Santiago, Chile from 19-27 July; Bogota, Colombia from 3-23 September. There are plans to also tour to Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico. The show will then move on to tour American cities such as Miami and Los Angeles. The show will also coincide with the release of a soundtrack album, created by surviving Soda Stereo members Zeta Bosio and Charly Alberti, and some producers who have worked with the band. It wil be directed by Michel Laprise and the director of creation will be Chantal Tremblay.
  • Volta: Via social media, on 5 November 2016, the name of the show was announced to be Volta and is "a story of transformation, about being true to oneself, fulfilling one’s true potential, and the power of the group to make that possible."
  • Hanzhou 2018: On 15 June 2015 at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Cirque du Soleil announced their plans to develop a permanent show in the Xintiandi commercial complex in Hangzhou, China. The theater will seat 1400 spectators and Cirque du Soleil's chief executive Daniel Lamarre has said that the show will have a “local flavor” but still be a “Cirque show”. It is scheduled to open in early 2018 with the development of the theatre on the site of an old warehouse of an old rail yard area currently underway.
  • Cirque du Soleil Theme Park: On 12 November 2014, Cirque du Soleil, Grupo Vidanta, and Goddard Group announced plans for a theme park in Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico. The plans call for at least two lands, the Village of the Sun and the Village of the Moon, as well as an outdoor evening show accommodating as many as 3,000 to 5,000 spectators, and may include a water park and nature park elements. It is due to open some time in 2018.
  • Dubai 2018: On 10 November 2015, Cirque du Soleil posted a job opening on their website for a new production nicknamed "Dubai 2018". A production had been originally scheduled to premiere in Dubai in 2011, but due to financial instability that hit Cirque du Soleil around that time (including their Middle Eastern investors Nakheel and Istithmar World pulling out of their partnership), they had postponed the show. The 2011 show was meant to be directed by Guy Caron (director of Dralion and ) and Michael Curry (who specialises in puppetry/props), and was to be housed in a custom-built theatre that would seat 1,800 people on Palm Jumeirah (one of three man-made, palm-shaped islands in Dubai). It is unclear whether these plans remain in place for the 2018 show.
  • Projects

  • Cirque du Monde: A social action project designed to reach marginalized youth.
  • Safewalls: An artistic project curated by Cirque du Soleil that is bringing time-honoured circus posters into the 21st century by pairing up with renowned international street art and lowbrow artists.
  • Cultural Action Art Exhibitions: As part of its Cultural Action programs, Cirque du Soleil offers artists the opportunity to exhibit at its Montreal Headquarters and at its Las Vegas offices. Artists who have participated include: France Jodoin, Dominique Fortin-Mues, Laurent Craste and Dominic Besner.
  • Desigual inspired by Cirque du Soleil: Cirque du Soleil partnered with Desigual fashion design in 2011 to develop a collection of clothing and accessories, which was made available at Desigual stores and Cirque du Soleil show boutiques.
  • Movi.Kanti.Revo: In association with Google, Cirque du Soleil released a Google Chrome extension in 2012, meant to bring some of Cirque du Soleil's imagination to the browser.
  • Special events

    In April 2015, Cirque du Soleil's Special Events division, which had been responsible for coordinating various public and private events, formed a separate company called 45 Degrees. Led by Yasmine Khalil, the new company has continued to produce special events for Cirque du Soleil while expanding to offer creative content outside Cirque du Soleil as well.

    Lounges and nightclubs

    As of October 2015, Cirque du Soleil renounced its intention to be involved in Las Vegas nightclubs and has since dissociated itself from all lounges and clubs listed below. These lounges are no longer affiliated with Cirque du Soleil.

    Revolution is a 5,000-square-foot (500 m2) lounge concept designed for The Mirage resort in Las Vegas, in which cast members perform to the music of The Beatles. Cirque du Soleil drew inspiration from the Beatles' lyrics to design some of the lounge's features. For instance, the ceiling is decorated with 30,000 dichroic crystals, representing "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The VIP tables use infrared technology that allows guests to create artwork, which is then projected onto amorphic columns.

    Cirque du Soleil's second lounge was the Gold Lounge, which is located in the Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and is 3,756 square feet (349 m2). The design is reminiscent of Elvis' mansion, Graceland, and black and gold are utilized extensively throughout the décor. The bar has the same shape as the bar in the Elvis mansion as well. The music played here changes throughout the night, including upbeat classic rock, commercial house music, upbeat Elvis remixes, minimal hip hop, Top 40, and pop.

    In May 2013 The Light Group opened the Light nightclub in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, costing $25 million. Light was the first time Cirque du Soleil worked as part of a nightclub. Among other features the club has a large wall of LED screens, and the room is illuminated with fog, lasers and strobes. DJs at the events include charting artists such as Kaskade and Tiesto, with prices ranging from $30 to $10,000 for certain table placements.

    Diversification

    In October 2011, Cirque du Soleil was reported to be interested in purchasing Maison Alcan, as part of a diversification strategy.

    Grand chapiteau tours

    Cirque du Soleil shows normally tour under a grand chapiteau (i.e. big top) for an extended period of time until they are modified, if necessary, for touring in arenas and other venues. The infrastructure that tours with each show could easily be called a mobile village; it includes the Grand Chapiteau, a large entrance tent, artistic tent, kitchen, school, and other items necessary to support the cast and crew.

    The company's tours have significant financial impacts on the cities they visit by renting lots for shows, parking spaces, selling and buying promotions, and contributing to the local economy with hotel stays, purchasing food, and hiring local help. For example, during its stay in Santa Monica, California, Koozå brought an estimated US$16,700,000 (equivalent to $18,642,764 in 2016) to the city government and local businesses.

    Site

  • The site takes around eight days to construct and three days to pack up.
  • For certain cities such as The Entertainment Quarter in Sydney, the site is paved with asphalt specifically for Cirque's tents in order to provide stability that the usual grass covering would not.
  • Anywhere from 50–75 large tractor-trailer containers are necessary to transport the vast amount of equipment. Totem, for example, requires 65 such containers to transport 1,200 tonnes (1,180 long tons; 1,320 short tons).
  • Five generators are used to provide electricity to the site.
  • Grand chapiteau

  • All tents are a standard size, constructed by 'Les Voileries du Sud-Ouest' in Bordeaux, France apart from the Fuji Dome used for big top shows in Japan.
  • Each tent weighs approximately 5,227.3 kilograms (11,524 lb).
  • The tent is 19 metres high (62 ft) and is 51 metres (167 ft) in diameter.
  • A single performance can seat more than 2,600 spectators.
  • Currently, there are multiple designs for the Grand Chapiteau tents. The traditional blue and yellow comes in two designs, one with vertical stripes, and one with swirls. These are used throughout the Americas and Oceania. An all white tent is usually used when touring Europe and as previously mentioned, a specially designed, earthquake resistant, blue and yellow Fuji Dome is used when touring Japan. For the first time, Cirque designed a show-specific tent for Luzia which features a white big top with yellow lines that represent the paths of planets in the solar system.
  • Other tents

  • The Entrance Tent holds the concessions and merchandise.
  • The Tapis Rouge is for VIP guests (up to 250) and is also available for private functions.
  • The Artistic Tent for the performers houses the wardrobe area, a fully equipped training area, and a physiotherapy room.
  • Kitchen

  • Used as the primary commons area, the kitchen serves 200–250 meals a day (6 days a week).
  • Filmography

    Cirque du Soleil Images creates original products for television, video and DVD and distributes its productions worldwide.

    Its creations have been awarded numerous prizes and distinctions, including two Gemini Awards and a Primetime Emmy Award for Cirque du Soleil: Fire Within (in 2003) and three Primetime Emmy Awards for Dralion (in 2001).

    Firing of HIV-positive artist

    In November 2003, gymnast Matthew Cusick (represented by the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund) filed a discrimination complaint against Cirque du Soleil in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging a violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act. Cusick (a trainee performer who was scheduled to begin working at Mystère) alleged that in April 2002, Cirque du Soleil fired him because he tested HIV-positive, even though company doctors had already cleared him as healthy enough to perform. Cirque du Soleil alleged that due to the nature of Cusick's disease coupled with his job's high risk of injury, there was a significant risk of his infecting other performers, crew or audience members. Cirque du Soleil said that they had several HIV-positive employees, but in the case of Cusick, the risk of him spreading his infection while performing was too high to take the risk. A boycott ensued and Just Out ran a story on it (with the headline "Flipping off the Cirque"). Cirque du Soleil settled with Cusick in April 2004; under the settlement, the company began a company-wide anti-discrimination training program, changed its employment practices pertaining to HIV-positive applicants; paid Cusick $60,000 in lost wages, $200,000 in front pay, and $300,000 in compensatory damages; and paid $40,000 in attorney fees to Lambda Legal.

    An additional complaint was filed on Cusick's behalf by the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Their complaint stemmed the City of San Francisco's ban on city contracting with employers that discriminatory based on HIV status; the circus leases property owned by the city-owned Port of San Francisco.

    Cirque du Soleil opposed Neil Goldberg and his company Cirque Productions over its use of the word "Cirque" in the late 1990s. Goldberg's company was awarded a trademark on its name "Cirque Dreams" in 2005.

    In August 1999, Fremonster Theatrical filed an application for the trademark Cirque de Flambé. This application was opposed by the owners of the Cirque du Soleil trademark in August 2002, on the grounds that it would cause confusion and "[dilute] the distinctive quality" of Cirque du Soleil's trademarks. A judge dismissed the opposition and the Cirque de Flambé trademark application was approved in 2005.

    In April 2016, Cirque du Soleil filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Justin Timberlake, Timbaland, and Sony Music Entertainment in federal court in New York, alleging that Timberlake's song "Don't Hold the Wall" (co-written with Timbaland) from the 2013 album 20/20 infringed the copyright of Cirque du Soleil's song "Steel Dream" from its 1997 album Quidam.

    H.B. 2 law in North Carolina

    In 2016, Cirque du Soleil announced the cancellation of all its 2016 touring shows to North Carolina, citing the recent signing of the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act by North Carolina governor Pat McCrory. This cancelations affected OVO in both Greensboro and Charlotte, and Toruk in Raleigh. The company announced in a press release that "Cirque du Soleil strongly believes in diversity and equality for every individual and is opposed to discrimination in any form. The new HB2 legislation passed in North Carolina is an important regression to ensuring human rights for all." Cirque has been criticized for this decision and accused of taking a double standard, for cancelling the shows in North Carolina while many times they have performed their shows in countries like the United Arab Emirates which violates a number of fundamental human rights.

    Fatalities

    In 2009, Oleksandr Zhurov, a 24-year-old from Ukraine, fell off a trampoline while training at one of the company's Montreal facilities. He died from head injuries sustained in the accident.

    The first death during a performance occurred on June 29, 2013. Acrobat Sarah Guyard-Guillot, from Paris, France, was killed after she fell 90 ft (27 m) into an open pit at the MGM Grand during the Kà show. After the fall, everyone on the stage looked "visually scared and frightened". Then the audience could hear her groans and screams from the floor.

    On November 29, 2016, crew worker Olivier Rochette was struck and killed by a telescopic lift while setting up the stage for that evening's production of Luzia in San Francisco. Rochette was the son of company co-founder Gilles Ste-Croix.

    References

    Cirque du Soleil Wikipedia