Quidam celebrates 30 years of Cirque du Soleil

Date Posted: 30/10/2013

Aerial Hoops Act, Photos Matt Beard and Costumes Dominique Lemieux.

Cirque du Soleil celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2014, and will kick off this milestone year with its production of Quidam at the Royal Albert Hall. Group Leisure caught up with artistic director Luc Ouellette to find out more about the show, and plans for the year ahead.

From its beginnings as a group of 20 street performers, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based company providing high-quality artistic entertainment. Today the organisation comprises more than 1,300 performing artists from almost 50 different countries.

Since 1984 Cirque du Soleil has been seen by over 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over 40 countries on six continents. Its production of Quidam received its world premiere in Montreal in 1996.

Featuring an international cast of 45 world-class acrobats, the production returns to the UK in January for the start of Cirque’s 30th anniversary celebrations, playing a limited run at the Royal Albert Hall until 9th February.

Q&A with Quidam’s artistic director

Quidam artistic director Luc Ouellette.Luc Ouellette tells Group Leisure how he first became involved with Cirque du Soleil, and reveals what he thinks lies behind its 30 years’ success.

Group Leisure: Tell us about your Cirque du Soleil story, how did you become involved?
Luc: They were looking for a profile like mine to be the artistic assistant for Quidam’s Japan tour almost 11 years ago, and I took the opportunity and joined the company. I am now back as artistic director with my first love at Cirque - Quidam. I have been doing this since November 2012 after working with three other shows as senior artistic director.

Group Leisure: What would you put the longevity and success of Cirque du Soleil down to?
Luc: Without a doubt creativity and quality of the brand. We’ve tried for all creations to push the boundaries, to reinvent ourselves.

Statue Act, Photos Matt Beard and Costumes Dominique Lemieux.

Group Leisure: Where has your job with Cirque du Soleil taken you to, and have you any favourite countries and venues?
Luc: I have toured in the US, Europe and Asia. Royal Albert Hall in London, Bellagio Theatre in Las Vegas and Zed Theatre in Tokyo Disney are three special venues for me in my path with Cirque.

Group Leisure: What ambitions did you have growing up and have you got any left to achieve?
Luc: I wanted to travel and to see the world, and Cirque cannot be a better place to do that. I wanted to remain in an artistic world after my 15-year career as a dancer. I want to continue influencing and directing artists for many more years as I want to give back the knowledge I have learned.

Group Leisure: Can you tell us about any funny stories from your time with Cirque du Soleil?
Luc: Small mistakes on stage - that I am probably the only one noticing - make me smile. When we travel, it is not always our language or our culture; funny situations happen and we laugh about it around a good meal in our kitchen. Media events in Japan are always a lot of fun because it is very far from our traditional media requests.

Group Leisure: Cirque du Soleil is going to be 30 next year; what plans are there to mark this special occasion?
Luc: We definitely intend to celebrate this important milestone. The details of the campaign are in development at the moment and we will unveil them soon.

Group Leisure: How would you describe Cirque du Soleil to someone who hasn’t seen it?
Luc: A unique, fantastic, feast for all senses with high level acrobatics and beautiful imagery. A must-see!

What’s Quidam all about?

Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam features acts including aerial hoops, aerial contortion in silk, the Diablo and juggling.

Target Character, Photos Matt Beard and Costumes Dominique Lemieux.

Audiences can also look forward to award-winning act ‘Banquine’ comprising 15 artists performing sequences of acrobatics and human pyramids in synchronised movements.

The production is based around the character of young Zoe; bored and ignored by her parents, her life has lost all meaning.

Seeking to fill the void of her existence, she slides into an imaginary world - the world of Quidam - where she meets characters who encourage her to free her soul.

Quidam plays a limited run at London’s Royal Albert Hall from 4th January to 9th February. Tickets are now available for group travel organisers to book.

For more information about Cirque du Soleil’s 30th anniversary celebrations visit www.cirquedusoleil.com.

facebook twitter make as homepage