Disclosing Cirque

An often wondered-aloud question in Cirque fandom is, “What happens after artists and performers retire from Cirque?” Thanks to the persistence of our own Wayne Leung, we were made aware of a television feature that would address that very question. That is, until the show it was originally set to appear on was cancelled! But there may yet be hope. Here’s the story, as we know it.

“Disclosure,” a weekly “investigative” journalism show (similar to “60 Minutes”) that aired Tuesday evenings on CBC (Canadian Broadcasting), recently announced they would be doing a piece on Cirque. Here is the press release for the feature, written by CBC publicist Susan Procter.


Cirque du Soleil, once the little show from Quebec, is now the hottest ticket on the Las Vegas strip. Cirque’s success means it can attract the best acrobats in the world. But the career of a circus athlete can be short-lived and performing more than 400 shows a year takes its toll. Diana Swain interviews Cirque performers and gets exclusive behind-the-scenes access in Life After Cirque – what happens after the curtain falls – on CBC NEWS: DISCLOSURE – April 6 at 9 p.m. on CBC Television.

Paul Bowler was once an Olympic gymnast in Britain. Now he’s one of the stars of the Cirque show Mystère. Two years ago he injured his shoulder so badly it had to be completely reconstructed. He took all of the physiotherapy offered by Cirque. But, worried that he’d never work again, he got his real estate license. “I know this sounds absolutely crazy but the best thing that ever happened to me was blowing my shoulder to pieces,” said Bowler. “What I wasn’t prepared to do was sit down for six months and hope and worry how I was going to meet my living expenses afterwards.” Now he’s back under the Big Top, with a successful real estate career on the side.

Bowler is a success story. But things haven’t turned out so well for Sacha Ivanov. He toured as an acrobat with the famous Moscow Circus. Then, nine years ago, Cirque came calling. “All of us, we had the feeling the Cirque du Soleil was just family for everybody,” he said. But his attitude changed when Cirque told him they would not renew his contract. Then he injured himself, making it difficult for him ever to work for Cirque again. He eventually found work at a Las Vegas gym.”

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? But, just days before the piece was scheduled to air it was replaced by a more “current” newsworthy piece on a scandal in British Columbia. Under normal circumstances the piece would have been rescheduled and run on another date – no use wasting the cost of putting the piece together. But “Disclosure” has been cancelled; last Tuesdays broadcast was the shows last!

While it looked doubtful the piece would ever see the light of day, or that we wouldn’t find out about its airing until after the fact, quick sleuthing by Wayne holds promise. According to the CBC, the piece will be airing instead on The National, a weeknight news show airing Monday-Friday from 10-11pm. We understand that the current plan is to use the piece during the Wednesday, April 14th broadcast of The National. However, since its hockey playoff season in Canada, the airing may get delayed depending on how the playoffs go.

So if you’re in Canada, set your VCR’s! It sounds like the piece (when it’s eventually aired) will become a sought-after video curio in Cirque fan circles!