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Posted by: Adrianne Goff on 02/08/2015

Cirque Du Soleil 's Cabinet of Kurious blows the top off BIG in San Francisco!

Cirque Du Soleil 's Cabinet of Kurious blows the top off BIG in San Francisco! Cirque du Soleil’s 35th full-scale production, Kurios - Cabinet de Curiosities takes its inspiration from the industrial innovation of the latter half of the 19th century, when for the first time railroads made travel less taxing and burdensome, and the telegraph made real-time long distance communication possible.  Kurios is directed by Cirque veteran Michel Laprise, who provided Madonna artistic direction for her 2012 Super Bowl appearance, and later directed her MDNA tour. Just off five months of production and a trial run in Atlanta, tried and true Cirque devotees and new can chose from ten Kurios shows a week presented just south of A.T.T. Park through January 18, 2015. You can’t miss the big top!

Cirque du Soleil is recognized for premium, innovative, artistic entertainment. You might say the mission of Cirque du Soleil is “to evoke the imagination, invoke the senses and provoke the emotions of audiences around the world.” With inspired set pieces, colorful costumes, ingenious music, and noteworthy lighting design, Cirque du Soleil‘s Kurios daringly explores the limitless possibilities of audacity, creativity, and imagination to cleverly marshal and steward the remarkable bond between artist and audience. An integral part of Cirque du Soleil philosophy: “To take the adventure further, step beyond dreams and, above all, believe that our people are the engine of our enterprise.”

The Cirque gained international recognition in 1984, when the Province of Quebec sought to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Jacques Cartier’s founding of Canada. In the town of Baie-Saint-Paul on the north shore of the St-Lawrence River, east of Quebec City they found Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (‘The Stilt-walkers of Baie-Saint-Paul’), a theatre troupe founded by Gilles Ste-Croix and Guy Laliberté. They had built local notoriety by walking on stilts, juggling, dancing, breathing fire and playing music with a most unique artistic approach: audience participation. Newly christened Cirque du Soliel  performers were chosen to lead the celebration.

The International Headquarters (located in Montreal), includes three acrobatic training rooms, a dance studio, a studio-theater and weight-training facilities where all new Cirque du Soleil acts prepare and train before joining a show’s cast. Training can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. In addition to housing cirque corporate departments, the International Headquarters also houses all core activities of our creative process, from composers to costumers to shoe-makers to choreographers to carpenters and set painters. From a business perspective:

•    In 1984, 73 people worked for Cirque du Soleil. Today, 4,000 employees worldwide, including more than 1,300 artists provide administrative, production, artistic, performance, and various support services
•    At the Montreal International Headquarters there are close to 1,500 employees.
•    More than 100 types of occupations can be found at Cirque.
•    The Cirque’s staff represent more than 50 countries and 25 languages.
•    Close to 150 million spectators have seen a Cirque du Soleil show since 1984.
•    Close to 15 million people have seen or will see a Cirque du Soleil show in 2014.

Our behind the scenes Cirque du Soleil Kurios tour was hosted by the most gracious and helpful publicist, Amelie, who spoke perfect English with the most adorable French accent; French being the primary language of Montreal.

We learned that inspired by engaging, boundary breaking creativity, young performers, acrobats and gymnasts from all over the world dream of attending Montreal’s Cirque du Monde; Cirque du Soleil’s cirque school or auditioning at the International Headquarters.   

Two years ago, Lilia, a professional contortionist since she was nine years old, arrived in Quebec from Siberia, Russia with the two other contortionists in her act. Having worked together since children in Russia’s sparse performance venues, each girl always dreamed of having the good fortune to perform supported by the legendary production values of Cirque du Soleil. Now in her mid-twenties, Lilia looks forward to a long career and then perhaps becoming a teacher at Cirque du Monde.

In the backstage Cirque du Soleil culture, 109 cirque performers and support staff are treated like a family.  Six performers’ children, ages seven to fourteen follow a home-school curriculum in a set of portable classrooms.  In addition to being housed in local corporate housing facilities, the performers have all the physical support required to sustain their act performance after performance. A dedicated area of the Artistic Tent is reserved for stretching, Pilates, strength-training, practice, massages, and physical therapy, and staff operate a traveling kitchen and dining room the size of a mid-sized restaurant to serve this touring family three meals a day.

In one corner of the Artistic Tent, talented costumers maintain 120 costumes comprised of 800 costume pieces. All cirque performers apply their own makeup. Right off the cirque stage left connection to the Artistic Tent, in a small but comfortable viewing area flanked by a set of gym-style lockers, performers follow a live-feed of the performance to track their cue calls. In another corner of the tent, a band leader, an accordion player drummer, a violinist, a percussionist, a cellist, a singer, and a guitarist keep themselves prepared to follow an original score. A Soleil’s score album was launched in San Francisco on December 10th.

Amelie also told us of the continuously emerging and evolving Cirque du Soleil Foundation, established to exemplify philanthropic values, good global and local citizenship, and a culture of social responsibility.

This Cirque Du Soleil show is not to be missed, it is truly magnifique!

PERFORMANCES through January 18th, 2015

2 hours and 10 minutes, including a 25-minute intermission
Parking is available next to the Big Top on Lot A at a cost of $25 per car and $35 for buses or oversize. Cash only.
Take the MUNI KT line to Third Street & Mission Rock, or the N line to Caltrain (King St & 4th St). Muni buses 10, 30, 45 and 47 also stop within one block of the site.
Cirque Chic
Guests are encouraged to come dressed in their favorite steampunk attire
Facebook: #Kurios
Twitter: @Cirque #Kurios
Instagram: #Kurios