Cirque du Soleil revolutionized the circus arts, transcending the traditional big-top approach of the past to spotlight elaborate sets, lavish costumes and original music. Founded in Quebec in 1984 by Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier, the original group comprised local street performers; shunning animal acts to focus exclusively on human spectacles -- stilt-walkers, jugglers, fire-eaters and the like -- the troupe quickly earned a following throughout Canada, eventually spreading across North America. Where the original group of travelling performers numbered only a scant few, by the late '90s the Cirque du Soleil organization counted over 1,500 employees internationally; in 1993 their production Mystère became a permanent attraction at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, with other productions circling the globe during the years to follow including Alegría, Quidam, Saltimbanco, Dralion and La Nouba. All produced accompanying soundtrack recordings as well. ~ Jason AnkenyPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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