The performances at Cirque were very innovative and quite different from what people normally saw. It added a certain amount of sophistication to traditional circus and thus carved out a niche market for itself.
In a maturing circus industry dominated by more than a century old giant players like the Ringlings and Barnum & Bailey, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier founded Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun) in 1984. Cirque was a new entrant in an industry, which was afflicted with falling revenues and profit for a long time. During this time, children, the traditional patrons of the circus, were more attracted towards television, computers and video games compared to animal acts, clowns and jugglers featured in a circus. Rather than sticking to the age-old formula for running a circus, Laliberté and Gauthier built their circus along unconventional lines. After identifying that the three core elements of any circus were the tent, the clowns and the acrobatic acts, they did away with the expensive animal acts and launched shows based on unique themes, soundtrack, costumes and sets. Cirque's 'one of a kind' shows that resembled theatric and ballet performances, targeted adults rather than children. After achieving phenomenal success in a matter of two decades, Laliberté planned to extend the Cirque du Soleil brand to spas, restaurants and resorts. Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is an American circus company. The company was started when the circus created by James Anthony Bailey and P. T. Barnum was merged with the Ringling Brothers Circus . The Ringling brothers purchased the Barnum & Bailey Circus in 1907, but ran the circuses separately until they were finally merged in 1919.
Cirque du Soleil broke the best practice rule of the circus industry, achieving both differentiation and low cost by reconstructing elements across existing industry boundaries.
Cirque Du Soleil
<ul><li>In 1980, Gauthier and Ste-Croix planned to turn Le Balcon Vert, a performing artists' youth hostel that they managed into an organized performing troupe. To raise funds for this purpose, Ste-Croix stilt-walked between Baie-Saint-Paul and Quebec City. This attracted the attention of the Quebec Government and it provided the trio with the necessary funds. </li></ul><ul><li>In the same year, Gilles Ste-Croix (Ste-Croix), with skills in stilt-walking, along with some performers founded Les Echassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (Les Echassiers), and began street performances. Soon Laliberte and Daniel Gauthier (Gauthier) joined the group. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Based in Montreal , Quebec , Canada and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel , it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier. </li></ul><ul><li>Cirque du Soleil (English "Circus of the Sun" , )is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a “dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>When Cirque began its operations, it functioned with around 73 employees. But today, there are 4,000 people working in various areas like art direction, production, stage settings, lighting and special effects, IT, marketing and public relations, and as trainers, physiotherapists, fitness specialists, musicians, cooks and the kitchen staff, technicians, and performers. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil </li></ul><ul><li>La Magie Continue. </li></ul><ul><li>We Reinvent the Circus </li></ul><ul><li>Nouvelle Expérience. </li></ul><ul><li>Saltimbanco </li></ul><ul><li>Mystère </li></ul>
<ul><li>The company strove to be different from other circuses by constantly coming up with innovations. </li></ul><ul><li>Every show presented by Cirque, was based on a central theme with a supporting storyline, amalgamating different circus styles from across the world. </li></ul><ul><li>Cirque avoided animals and star performers, which were commonly seen in traditional circus. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Instead of being considered as just another circus company in a declining industry, Cirque redefined its market by fusing art and entertainment. </li></ul><ul><li>The company's target market was mainly educated and sophisticated, opera going adults and families as opposed to the traditional circuses which were mainly for children. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Cirque differentiated itself from the traditional circus in all business aspects. The company created a niche market of live entertainment within the entertainment industry. Rather than providing a product for which demand already existed, it used its innovativeness and creativity to create a demand for live entertainment. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The company was successful in creating a new form of art by combining circus art, theater and ballet. Subsequently, Cirque also introduced its line of apparel and accessories. </li></ul><ul><li>About 85 percent of Cirque's revenues were from the sale of show tickets and the rest from the sale of audios, videos, books, and licensing agreements for products like T-shirts, jewelry, hats, shoes, masks etc. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Apart from touring and permanent shows in places like Las Vegas, Orlando, and Walt Disney World, Cirque had also produced a number of movies and television shows. Some of the shows like 'Cirque du Soleil Fire Within', Coreto and Dralion had won the popular Emmy awards in various categories. </li></ul>
<ul><li>In April 2001, Laliberte announced that he wanted to make Cirque, the entertainment capital of the world. Cirque's future plans included building entertainment complexes in major cities including London, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Sydney, in the next 15 years. </li></ul><ul><li>A new Cirque show will debut at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California with a movie-themed show for the millions of tourists who flock to Hollywood Boulevard each year. The show will run for 10 years and will take a six-week break during the city's Academy Award season. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Cirque has signed a major partnership with United Arab Emirates real estate developer Nakheel to create a residency show at the Atlantis, The Palm Resort on The Palm, Jumeirah in Dubai , with an initial 15-year deal for an original show scheduled to debut in 2012,directed by Guy Caron and Michael Curry. </li></ul>