a Cirque du Soleil world
I woke up the other day thinking about how I would like to live in a Cirque du Soleil world.
I discovered this fantastic world when I was just eight years old. We lived in Maryland and Saltimbanco was in Washington DC for a few weeks. My mother loved the idea of taking us to a circus without animals (she loves and protects them), with acrobats from around the world – dressed and decorated in a very colorful and blissful way.
The Canadian company was still initiating an expansion into the US with a few performances.
There I was, at the edge of my seat, chin held on tiny hands, eyes wide open like full moon, hypnotized; but not just because of the conjuring tricks, but also because of the world reflected by the show. It was a chimeric world, with a mélange of whirlwind and tranquility, where diversity was celebrated; an allegoric odyssey through a lively and delirious city. There was a touch of Italy – pointy hats, Venetian masks, Pinocchio looking faces…
Later on, I saw different performances in various countries and Cirque never ceased to amaze. It became one of my favorite escapisms. Where there’s one, I try to follow, in order to live those 120 minutes, fascinated, growing torpid with the beauty and seductive inventiveness.
And so, further down the road, Cirque became a case study in college, where it appeared in the business world setting the example in the entertainment industry. It is not only a circus company that grows exponentially and entertains audiences around the world, but it is also an example of innovative corporation, with a great capacity of reinventing itself. Furthermore, the company has several global citizenship programs with social projects in more than twenty countries.
In another occasion, traveling with the non-profit organization Up with People in a social responsibility training program, I had the pleasure of meeting a former Cirque employee. He truly cherished the company and told me stories about the shows, the artists, the costumes, the music… How could I not fall even more in love?
With headquarters in Montreal, the company started in 1984 with 73 employees. Nowadays its team counts with more than 4,000 employees around the world, with more than 1,000 artists. They are talents from more than 40 countries who speak more than 25 languages.
And the songs? Have you paid attention to the lyrics? It might be necessary to brush up on your Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and French, languages they sing in with messages translating hope, struggle, joy… Some of the lyrics will be really hard to understand, they are written in “cirquish”, a language they created.
In one of the performances I bought the book The Spark, in which the former president of creative content takes you to the Cirque du Soleil world through the story of a man in search of his personal and professional life. Cirque, a true creativity and innovation lab, confirms how these two ingredients are essential not only in a business but in one’s personal life (and many other aspects).
The name of the book illustrates which spark results in the flame of innovation. This reading teaches us that everyone, regardless of career or job, has a creative side and the power to decide how to explore this strong force within us.
Yes, I would like to discover this world. Not only because of amazing wriggling movements, surreal jumps in the air, trapezes and clowns who live by art traveling the world, but mainly because it’s a harmonic, pleasant, innovative, flexible and culturally tolerant world.
Next week I will be there, just like that little eight year old girl, at the edge of my seat, eyes wide open, in great escapism, watching and dreaming simultaneously.