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Cirque du Soleil

From a group of 20 street performers at its beginnings in 1984, Cirque du Soleil is now a major Quebec-based organization providing high-quality artistic entertainment. The company has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to close to 150 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents.

 
 
 

Biography

Daniele Finzi Pasca

Creator and Director

For Daniele Finzi Pasca, Corteo represents a kind of full circle, a bringing together of all the threads of his professional career. As a young man growing up in Switzerland he was a competitive gymnast. He went on to work in circus, and eventually established a reputation in theater as a writer and director.

Daniele was born into a family of photographers. "Then my mother became a painter," he says. "I grew up surrounded by images and imagery. And I put them into motion."

Perhaps the most formative event in his life was a trip he took to India, where he worked as a volunteer looking after terminally ill patients. On his return to Switzerland, he founded a company called Sunil's Clowns, which changed its name to Teatro Sunil in 1986. Teatro Sunil is still "home," but Daniele also travels the world, with his own productions and as a guest director with other theater and circus companies.

A prolific writer, Daniele does not restrict his creative output to the stage. He has also published Come acqua allo specchio, a collection of short stories. (The show Passo Migratore is based on one of the stories from this collection).

Daniele's lifelong fascination with clowns and clowning took root at the famed Circus Nock, where he performed in an acrobatic clown number. He has since developed a personal approach to the tradition which he has presented in courses and workshops for companies and organizations all over the world, including Canada's National Circus School and Cirque du Soleil. He also directed the highly-acclaimed Cirque Eloize shows Nomade - La Nuit le Ciel est Plus Grand and Rain - Comme une Pluie dans Tes Yeux.

Corteo is inspired by the death and funeral of a clown, and draws on a clown figure from a past long before the existence of circus—a time when clowns were not the stereotypes we know now, but far more complex characters. Daniele says the show is "situated at a strange level between heaven and earth, where the gods and humans can interact through the medium of circus."

The show's environment takes its inspiration from many architectural sources, especially Chartres cathedral and its labyrinth, which for Daniele Finzi Pasca symbolizes the journey of life. "The labyrinth is a great voyage: To find yourself you have to lose yourself," he explains.

Daniele Finzi Pasca was born in Lugano, Switzerland in 1964.