Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère

Posted: 15th April 2010 by Glenda (and Jack) in motivation
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from program at Treasure Island


“Cirque du Soleil began with a very simple dream. A group of young entertainers got together to amuse audiences, see the world, and have fun doing it.”
—Guy Laliberté            

I’m completely enamored when I see talent, creativity, ingenuity, and perseverance all rolled into one art form. From the first moment I saw Mystère advertised, I knew I had to see it.               

The group called Cirque du Soleil can satisfy anyone’s interest in creativity–from material costumes, design in make-up and sets, the litheness with which performers have trained their bodies, to the choreographing of story line with humor jolted into the production. Mystère has everything.               

In 1984 the troupe was just a bunch of street performers. Twenty-five years later; they’ve grown to 4,000 employees from 40 different countries, speaking 26 different languages, have 1000 artists and multiple, internationally acclaimed shows. As of April, 2009, almost 90 million spectators have seen their performances. Since those very humble street performer beginnings, their philosophy has always been “Never stop believing in those dreams.”               

In 1989 we were in the Las Vegas airport when I saw a gigantic, overhead screen showing clips from Mystère. I had no idea they were in the infant stages as a performing work—all I knew was that someday I must see this show. I finally saw it in 1995 and then again in March, 2009. To call these performers “acrobats” in their leaps, turns, twists, and configurations, or to use the word circus does them such disfavor. They say their mission is to “invoke the imagination, provoke the senses and evoke the emotions of people around the world.” They do just that in each performance.               

Part of the show’s intrigue comes from the intricate make-up and costuming which are integral parts of the show. At their headquarters in North America, 440 specialists create shoes, hand-dyed textiles, lace, patterns, hats, and illusory effect. Wigs are designed with ventilation, but to do so, each must be built one hair at a time. The bungee costumes have over 2,000 hand-glued sequins on each costume. By 2009, the costume workshop had created more than 25,000 pieces. Though I love Mystère, I would choose not to see some of the other Cirque du Soleil shows the audience rating is for adults only.               

When I sit in the audience or even see video clips of Mystère, I’m amazed at the magnificence of detail and expertise which are required to create each show. The bodies of the performers are more like finely crafted machines in strength and agility. No one can slack off a day in this type show. Each must work at optimum ability.               

Every goal starts with a dream or vision. In 1984, these were street performers with ideas they wouldn’t let die. Their dream became reality: one impossible leap to another.               

~ Glenda