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Cirque du Soleil provide media representatives with show and corporate press kits.

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 5,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries. Cirque du Soleil has brought wonder and delight to more than 100 million spectators in more than 300 cities in over forty countries on six continents.

 
 
 

Biography

Bill Shannon

Choreographer

For more than ten years, Bill Shannon has been making his mark on the most prestigious alternative stages in the U.S. and around the world, and waking up the streets of New York and Chicago with his kinetic exploits. As well as being a renowned dancer and choreographer, this Brooklyn resident expresses himself through video, writing, drawing and installations. Bill regularly presents shows in the United States and at contemporary art and dance festivals in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland and Jordan. He has a bachelor's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Bill Shannon is a self-styled interdisciplinary artist, but he is known in the club dance world as "the CrutchMaster." He has invented a unique technique for dancing on crutches—the Shannon Technique—that derives from his extensive experience in their use as a mobility aid. In fact, until Varekai, he was the only practitioner of this technique. "In my choreography, I aim to merge the Shannon Technique with freestyle street dancing, skateboarding and silent film poetics," he explains.

Numerous awards and distinctions have recognized the avant-garde quality of Shannon's creations. Since 2000, he has received the Downtown Art/Colbert Foundation's Emerging Arts Award, as well as grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art and the Jerome Foundation, and has twice been supported by the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals.

"My favourite place for experimentation and expression is the street. It allows for chance encounters and discoveries, both human and artistic, that couldn't be designed or planned in a million years," he says.

Bill Shannon was born in 1970 and is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.