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.
Twice Emmy-nominated choreographer, director, and producer Travis Payne is an acknowledged innovator of screen, stage, and song. Born and raised in Atlanta, Payne’s work encompasses some of the most influential visual and musical moments of contemporary pop culture, created for and performed by global entertainment icons from Michael Jackson, Beyonce, Shakira, and Usher to Lady Gaga, Jennifer Lopez, The Pussycat Dolls’, Nicole Scherzinger, and Madonna. Payne was a collaborator on and off for more than 15 years with the late Michael Jackson. He served as associate director and co-choreographer with Michael as he prepared for his series of sold-out shows in London in July 2009 and was the associate producer on the award winning film, Michael Jackson’s This Is It, documenting those rehearsals. Payne began his career as a dancer on Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814 World Tour and was soon choreographing for Jackson and En Vogue as well as Madonna, Sting, Lenny Kravitz, Paula Abdul, Faith Hill, and Ricky Martin. In addition to his Emmy Awards, Payne is a two-time recipient of the Music Video Producers Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Choreography, an Obie Award winner, and a four-time winner of the MTV Video Music Award for Best Choreography. Michael Jackson ONE is his second collaboration with Cirque du Soleil after Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour.