Cirque du SoleilTodo comenzó en Baie-Saint-Paul, un pequeño pueblo cerca de Quebec (Canadá). Allí, a comienzos de la década de los ochenta, un grupo de personajes llenos de color deambulaban por las calles subidos en zancas, haciendo malabares, bailando, lanzando fuego por la boca y tocando música. Se trataba de Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (los zancudos de Baie-Saint-Paul), un grupo de teatro callejero fundado por Gilles Ste-Croix. Los habitantes del pueblo quedaron impresionados por los jóvenes artistas y, entre ellos, se encontraba Guy Laliberté, que posteriormente fundaría y se convertiría en director general del Cirque du Soleil.
Mark Swanhart began his dance studies at 7 years old in his hometown of Vinco, Pennsylvania and furthered those studies at Point Park College of Pittsburgh. After college, Mark made his professional debut with the James Kelley Choreography project and remained in Chicago to perform with Deeply Rooted Dance Chicago, River North Dance Company, and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Mark then turned his focus to theater and joined the first national tour of Fosse.
Knowing his true calling was choreography, Mark headed for Los Angeles where he found his first choreography job on Baz Luhrman’s La Boheme on Broadway. He spent the next year maintaining the Broadway cast and then remounting the production in Los Angeles. Since then, Mark has choreographed music videos, stage productions, and national commercials. Credits include the water fountains for Steve Wynn’s new casino in Macau, China; choreography for Celine Dion’s Taking Chances Tour, and her CBS Television Special. Viva ELVIS is his first engagement with Cirque du Soleil as Choreographer.