Issue #197: JUN 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of Fascination, the Unofficial Cirque du Soleil Newsletter.


The battle for Cirque du Soleil certainly gets more interesting this month. According to the Financial Post, Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté says he wants to buy back the company he created more than 35 years ago. “Today, I took the decision to embark on the purchasing process,” he said on Radio-Canada’s Tout le monde en parle. Theatre directors Franco Dragone of Italy, and Robert Lepage of Quebec have both shown interest, Laliberté said, in re-launching the Cirque du Soleil. The Quebec government has signaled it was ready to help the circus financially. Economy Minister Pierre Fitzgibbon confirmed last week the provincial government was in talks with potential investors. Montreal-based media giant Quebecor has also voiced a desire to buy a stake in the company. Laliberté said his intention was to keep the headquarters of the celebrated circus in Montreal and to hire mainly Quebecers to run the company. The story unfolds in our news section this month…


On June 1st, Cirque du Soleil released the following statement on their Facebook page – “We are committed to finding the correct ways to meaningfully fulfill the promise inherent in these words. As we work toward progress together, we start by using a tool we’re privileged to have – our voice.”

We at Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group know that art comes from going beyond that which divides us. It comes from transcending borders to embrace our common humanity. As artists, creators and members of the global community, we stand against hate and discrimination. We are proud to stand with, and in support of, the Black community against racism. You matter, your lives matter. We must stand together to use our voices to speak out and stop the injustice. Our duty as artists is to fight against forces of oppression and create spaces that bring us together. For when we go beyond our divisions, we can create a better, more just world.


X: The Land of Fantasy, the resident show in Hangzhou, became the first production by Cirque du Soleil to resume performances on June 3. The June 3 performance was attended by medical workers and those who have worked on the front-lines of the fight against the novel coronavirus, according to Xia Xiaoyu, deputy general manager in charge of the culture and tourism department at Hangzhou Xintiandi group. According to local regulations, the theater will be able to open 50 percent of its more than 1,400 seats for upcoming performances. Although hosting below full capacity means not being able to cover operational costs, Xia said: “The show must go on. We cannot let the fire die out… for months we were training and waiting, believing this will pass and life will come back to normal.” The production team has been largely unaffected, except for the absence of 20 expat staff workers who are unable to return to Hangzhou because of travel bans. “We have managed to hire a few Chinese artists, whose international contracts were canceled because of the pandemic,” Xia said. “We are also in close contact with our overseas colleagues and are looking forward to their return.”


While the future of Cirque du Soleil is still up in the air, we’ve not stopped exploring all aspects and facets of its past. In this month’s issue, we’re proud to present a fantastic look into Cirque du Soleil’s first foray into the dining show concept with it’s turn with Pomp Duck and Circumstance. Pomp Duck and What? Yep, most fans don’t know that in 1997, Cirque du Soleil joined with Pomp Duck & Circumstance to revitalize their upscale dinner theater concept and formula, and staged a brand new cabaret-style show in Hamburg, Germany. (Cirque du Soleil doesn’t talk much about it, so if you’ve not heard about this show before don’t sweat it… but it is listed as show #11 on Cirque du Soleil’s most recent master list of shows.) Gilles Ste-Croix was chosen as director for the production, and under a beautiful spiegelzelt, guests watched an unforgettable performance while dining on an epicurean feast fit for a king. If you want to learn more, and I implore you to do so, check out “Pomp Duck and Circumstance: A Restaurant Out of Control” by Henry Peirson in our FEATURES section this month. You won’t regret it!

More? Keep reading!