Cirque Du Soleil

 
On Saturday we all had a trip to the Circus, not any ‘old’ circus but a spectacular experience which I can thoroughly recommend and which represents a great example of transformational change.
Nouveau Cirque as exemplified by the most excellent ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ has drawn audiences of millions back to the circus. When the traditional circus began to lose its appeal the popularity of circus performance has been reinvigorated by a new style of show.
Just consider the fundamental differences between the two styles:
Traditional Circus
Nouveau Cirque
Animal acts as star performers
Spectacular human performances
Local performances in a ‘Big Top’
Central Arena venues
Well known format to each show
Themed theatrical storyline
Traditional ‘brass’ circus music
Music composed as an integral part of the show
Ringmaster Compere
No Compere
Clowns
Comic acts
Although Circuses have always marketed themselves brilliantly, walk an elephant down any high street or erect a large striped tent in the local park and it will draw attention. Cirque nouveau has tapped into the marketing of our time. Creatively using a range of internet-based advertising channels like the e-book I recently received for a Cirque du Soleil show with video clips to tease me into booking my tickets.  They have made circus ‘cool’ again.  Children want to learn how to juggle, walk on stilts and perform acrobatic dance moves.  Cirque nouveau has become part of popular culture as traditional circus was 50 years ago.
When did traditional circus stop being new and exciting and become the established circus?  When does nouveau cirque stop being nouveau?  Where does the next transformation come from? 
I may have the answer to this.  As we speak through the window I can see my son in our back garden.  He told me he was developing a performance using a set of wooden stilts he made in the garage this afternoon.  It seems he is going to use these on the trampoline.  He also appears to be reintroducing animals into the act as next door’s cat has, by the look of things, volunteered to assist. 
This may break more than the mould.  Sorry.  Got to go!

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