Creative Process

Every Cirque du Soleil show is born from the minds behind our incredibly talented creative teams. Discover how our team of artists, craftspeople, and circus performers bring new shows to life.

Artist and coach working together

Behind the scenes – how is a Cirque du Soleil show created?

“Through creation, Cirque du Soleil tries more than ever to push the limits of the imagination, to amaze and to continually surprise the viewer. Innovation and creativity have always been at the heart of our shows and will continue to transcend our future productions.“

Jean-François Bouchard, Chief Creative Officer and Creative Guide Creativity is our defining ideal at Cirque du Soleil. Take a look at the creativity that goes on behind the scenes at our world renowned performances.

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Trapeze artists

Performers and artists

The core of Cirque du Soleil’s creative energy is made up of our performers. Athletes, acrobats, and artists are nurtured and allowed to flourish creatively while working as part of our creative team. These people are driven by a passion to continually surpass themselves in a pursuit to create exciting new art. Each artist is an integral part of the originality of Cirque du Soleil, and everyone’s contribution is essential to the success of the cast.

1,300 artists hailing from 55 different countries form the current Cirque du Soleil team. Each individual show features anywhere from 50 to 100 artists. 35% of our cast come from sports disciplines such as rhythmic and acrobatic gymnastics, as well as trampoline, tumbling, diving, synchronize swimming and urban acrobatic disciplines. 34% come from circus arts disciplines, while 31% come from various artistic backgrounds such as dance, music, physical theatre and street arts. Our multifaceted team allows us to offer a unique artistic environment, where ideas and dreams grow into something audiences around the world will remember for a lifetime.

Interested in an onstage career? Please visit our casting website

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Cirque du Soleil singer

Music and Singing

Our shows are not just a visual experience! Music plays a huge roll in bringing our creations to life. The music for each Cirque du Soleil production reflects the themes of the show while helping to set and maintain the tone of the action as it unfolds on stage. A score is written by one of our composers, creating shows that feature original music instead of relying on pre-recorded soundtracks by major artists like The Beatles and Michael Jackson. Our composers rearrange these classic tracks to allow audiences to experience songs that they know every single note of as if it was their first time hearing it. Our musicians and singers perform these songs live and must be ready to adjust the tempo or improvise to follow the pace of the artists on stage.

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Dancers from Paramour

Dreaming the unimaginable, creating the unexpected

Dreaming lies at the core of Cirque du Soleil, and is a definitive aspect of our philosophy. We strive to take the adventure further, to push our dreams further, and above all, we believe that our people are the engine of our enterprise. We offer our artists and creators the resources they require to create whatever they imagine, and allow the freedom of thought and creativity to make dreams become reality.

The Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal is filled with nearly 400 craftspeople and specialists in all kinds of creative fields who are devoted to pushing the boundaries of what the circus can be. Each show begins with inspiration and ideas from a core creative team composed of a creative director, writer-director, choreographers, and costume, lighting, and set designers. We offer our Circus Artists a creative environment like no other!

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Cirque du Soleil Costumes

Textiles and technology

Every year our costume workshop uses more than 6.5 kilometers of fabric from around the world to create our intricate stage outfits and sets. 80% of this fabric is treated and dyed in-house by our textile design team using various techniques such as bath-dying, silk-screening, and direct hand painting. We are constantly on the lookout for new ways to give texture to a costume or ways in which we can create a special effect on stage, so thinking outside the box is key! We welcome attempts to approach costume design in a new light; methods we have used in the past have been inspired by techniques used in the fields of plumbing, aviation, and even dentistry, and devices such as batteries, adhesives, and miniature lights are used to see how they can be incorporated into a costume and the effect they will have on its weight and maintenance.

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Sets and stage equipment

Set Creation

The sets and stage equipment are an integral part in conveying the theme and atmosphere of a Cirque du Soleil show. With a strong focus on aesthetic principles and the safety of our performers, sets are created with the intent to create a unique environment where our circus artists can thrive. Our sets are usually computer designed, then built – often using proprietary materials developed in house – to maximize flexibility and strength. Over the years, our team of designers have created many pieces of equipment from scratch which then go through a rigorous testing process at our research and development facility to ensure that they are safe ready for use.

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