Cirque du SoleilHet begon allemaal in Baie-Saint-Paul, een dorpje vlak bij Quebec City in Canada. Daar trok begin jaren '80 een groep kleurrijke personages door de straten, op stelten, jonglerend, dansend, vuurspuwend en musicerend. Zij vormden 'Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul' (de steltenlopers van Baie-Saint-Paul), een straattheatergezelschap opgericht door Gilles Ste-Croix. Toen al waren de mensen in het dorp erg onder de indruk van de jonge artiesten, waaronder een zekere Guy Laliberté, de latere oprichter en CEO van Cirque du Soleil.
Debra Brown is world renowned for her unique choreographies blending acrobatics and dance. She joined Cirque du Soleil in 1987 as a choreographer for We Reinvent the Circus and went on to choreograph the shows Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Corteo, one act in Zumanity, ZED, Zarkana, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour and Amaluna. She has also worked with artists and groups from a wide variety of disciplines including the 1990 Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (Paris), the John Corigliano’s opera The Ghosts of Versailles, presented at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, put on by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1994, Debra created and produced Apogée, a 50-minute trampoline-based ballet which premiered in Toronto and was also presented in both Los Angeles and San Francisco at “Passport ’96,” an AIDS benefit hosted by Elizabeth Taylor and Magic Johnson. In 1995, she worked with Luciano Pavarotti on the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) in New York. Debra also choreographed Aerosmith’s Jaded video and energetic performance for the American Music Awards in 2001, as well as Madonna’s Drowned world tour. Debra has worked with major musical acts such as Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Céline Dion and Madonna. Her film work includes Catwoman, Van Helsing and Barney’s Great Adventure. She received the Innovative Choreography Award in honour of her exceptional contribution to choreography and dance at the 14th Bob Fosse Awards in Los Angeles in 1997. In 2002, she received an Emmy Award for her choreography of an act created by Cirque du Soleil for the Academy Awards.