Topics: Cirque du Soleil, The Beatles, George Martin Pages: 2 (512 words) Published: May 23, 2014
any years in the making, and subject to stringent safety and artistic controls, each show costs millions of dollars to develop and produce. The challenges. High production costs and values mean high ticket prices. To justify the cost to the audience, Cirque must do two things: continue to come up with spectacular ideas; and continue to find, recruit and train enough of the right people. Both are tough. The market for Cirque is maturing. An estimated 90m people have seen a performance. How do you leave them wanting more? Performers tend to have short careers: the attrition rate is about 20 per cent a year, whether through injury or simply deciding it is time to retire. How do you renew the talent pool? The solution. Thirty talent scouts are listed on the Cirque website, and many of them are specialists in specific skills, such as singing or gymnastics and acrobatics. Sources of recruits include the Olympic Games, the Mongolian State Circus and world championship athletics competitions. Auditions, described by Cirque a “treasure hunting”, are demanding and can last up to two days. After initial screening, potential recruits must demonstrate not just technical proficiency but range. After a long audition, dancers must then show their acting, improvisation and singing skills. Once identified as “Cirque people”, performers’ names are added to the Cirque database to await a suitable role. Then the hard work really starts: they are drilled in their new craft at “boot camps” for up to four months before their first performance. Nevertheless, the Cirque “immersion programme” aims to bring out the best in an individual. Key to the transformation process are mentors – veterans who guide new artists and get to know them. Cirque describes itself as a “family”, a “band of brothers”. Reinvention is a constant theme. Having redefined the traditional “big top” circus in the 1980s, Mr Laliberté keeps audiences loyal and attracts new ones by always offering something different. In...
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