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An anniversary tribute to the sophisticated circus extravaganza shares the story of founder Guy Laliberté, charts its rise from a humble performing group to international success, and features color photographs of each production including Saltimbanco, Mystère, Varekai, and "O." 25,000 first printing.
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Tony Babinski is a writer, filmmaker, and musician based in Montreal. From 1994 to 2000 he coproduced, cowrote, and scored a series of award-winning experimental films. Kristian Manchester, also based in Montreal, is an art director with the Diesel design firm.From Publishers Weekly:
In 1984, native Quebecois Guy Laliberté decided to turn his annual street performance festival into a traveling troupe. Though the troupe originally planned to perform for only one year as part of the 450th anniversary celebration of French explorer Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada, it took on a life of its own and has since drawn crowds in major cities all over the world. It’s hard to imagine that a company known for its amazing acrobatics and pyrotechnics started out as a loose band of stilt-walkers and fire-breathers, but this elaborate retrospective has the pictures to prove it, as well as interviews offering insight into the exotic world under the big top. The book traces Cirque du Soleil’s history in almost excessive detail; the first section, in particular, is an exhaustive record of all the work it took to get the project going. The chapters that follow describe, largely in the words of company members, each show Cirque du Soleil has produced, from the concepts that inspired them to the props used in their realization. In a chapter on the production of "Quidam," for instance, director Franco Dragone talks about how he wanted "to move away from the more fantastic textures of Cirque’s previous shows... and get back to the feeling of uncertainty and danger" that once motivated the troupe, and costume designer Dominque Lemieux discusses the influence that artists Delveaux and Magritte had on her designs. The photos are brilliant, capturing both the inner-workings of the various troupes and the grandeur and mystique of the performances themselves. Though still pictures and text will never match the magic of a live show, this is a fascinating look at a group that has captured imaginations around the world.
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