Cirque du Soleil’s Bazzar will be its first show to play India

Next stop Mumbai.

In its continual quest to conquer new markets, Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil is set to bring a show to India for the first time in its 34-year-history. Executives from the company announced on Thursday at Cirque du Soleil’s sprawling headquarters in St-Michel that its newest show Bazzar will have its world première in Mumbai and then play New Delhi this fall.

There are no plans to bring the show to Montreal for a commercial run, but all concerned did comment: Never say never. However, a rough, unfinished version will run here in July, under the Big Top on the grounds of the Cirque du Soleil. If you are a member of the Cirque Club, which is free to join, you will have a chance to win tickets to see the preview performance. Some media will also be invited.

Bazzar is a smaller-scale show than the typical Big Top touring shows. The capacity of the Big Top will be 1,500 as opposed to 2,500, and the costs are roughly 50-per cent of an average touring Cirque show.

“One of my big roles over the last almost 20 years has been to take the shows to wherever we’ve not gone before,” said Finn Taylor, senior vice-president of touring shows for the Cirque du Soleil. “We’ve never been (to India) with a show. So, last year we opened China and we brought Kooza, our Big Top show, to China, which is obviously one of the other big markets we weren’t touring. So we decided we wanted to tackle India, that we wanted to get a footprint in the market now, so we can start developing it further as we move through the next few years.”

The plan is to take Bazzar to a number of smaller countries in the Middle East and then to the Greek islands, followed by a return to India next year. After that, in 2020, they are looking at taking it to northern Africa and possibly South Africa. The Indian run this fall is one month in Mumbai and one month in New Delhi.

Ticket prices will be lower in India compared to the Cirque shows in North America. Taylor notes that the average ticket price in India for Hollywood movies is around US$3; ticket prices for the Cirque show will be about US$45 — half what they would cost in a normal western market.

Bazzar tells the story of a troupe of acrobats, dancers and musicians who are creating a show; it’s a bit of a homage to the early days of the Cirque du Soleil.

“‘Where did Cirque start from?’ was my main inspiration,” said Susan Gaudreau, the show’s director and the person who came up with the original storyline. “I thought about this group of artists and I thought about (Cirque founders) Guy Laliberté and Gilles Ste-Croix and how they all got together in the original Big Top and just would create. I wanted to watch a troupe of artists create something and the audience would follow them through the creative process.”

{ SOURCE: Montreal Gazette }