This amazing show travels the world, thrilling audiences with a unique blend of story, live music, artistic set design, and top performers. We don’t always think about Cirque du Soleil as a traveling business, but that’s just what it is: an organization of people from diverse backgrounds and cultures working together to achieve a common goal. They also infuse a community with cash even as they deliver a memorable, shared experience.
Cirque du Soleil’s current show, Corteo, features 110 people traveling together, representing 18 nationalities on stage and 22 different countries in all. In addition to performers, there are caterers, stylists, designers, managers, technicians, and more.
“We look for people with special talent, on or off stage, from anywhere,” said Maxwell Batista, a publicist for the show. “It’s amazing to bring so many people together, and learn from each other, and work with people from around the world. You hear many languages, and we see things from different perspectives, which is really valuable.”
Traveling with a show presents challenges.
In order to work with people from so many countries, while traveling through many countries and states, they have to make sure that performers are compliant with immigration laws. Cirque du Soleil has two people focused just on this aspect of talent management.
Everything used for the show has to be taken apart, moved, and then put back together in the next location. To move, the show uses 21 trucks with 700 road cases and racks. The massive event is set up in one day and torn down in one day after—so Cirque de Soleil hires 100 local people to help.
“It's like a big puzzle,” Batista said, “moving this big stage. We need to get all of the pieces together in the right places, so everything is labeled and has its right place, and everyone has their job. It takes hard work, planning, and focus.”
LOCAL ECONOMIC IMPACT
Many of us don’t realize how much a big show like Cirque du Soleil contributes to the economies of the towns it visits. Aside from hiring 100 local people to help with setup and tear down, they also hire two people to help with costumes and laundry.
There is also a direct cash infusion from the performers and crew staying in local hotels, and caterers shopping for groceries locally to prepare meals for the crew. Much of what the crew needs day-to-day is purchased on location, because there is already so much to move that luggage is kept light. And of course, the Cirque rents the venue that they use to put on the show, and draws people in for the event from all around the region. Those folks go out to eat in Topeka, buy snacks at the venue, fill up their cars while they’re here, and maybe even stay overnight.
When you buy tickets to this show, you’re treating yourself to a world-class, memorable evening with a diverse crew of creatives and performers from around the world--but you’re also supporting your city’s economy. Definitely a win-win.
Cirque du Soleil’s hits Topeka from April 18-21 this year with their new show, “Corteo.”
“Our goal is that every person who comes to see our show will have an experience that appeals to them,” said Maxwell Batista. “We want you to leave feeling amazed.”
Help them spread the word by inviting a friend to join you for a truly unforgettable experience, or share out their Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/2208735246064880/https://www.cirquedusoleiltopeka.com/