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Cirque du Soleil is a Canadian entertainment company, self-described as a "dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment.

" Based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and located in the inner-city area of Saint-Michel, it was founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier.[1] They were named Les Échassiers,a street theater group. In 1984, Quebec City was celebrating the 450th anniversary of Canada’s discovery by Jacques Cartier, and they needed a show that would carry the festivities out across the province. Guy Laliberté presented a proposal for a show called Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun), and succeeded in convincing the organizers. And Cirque du Soleil hasn’t stopped since! Cirque du is an utterly unique type of performance. Cirque du Soleil is a kind of circus without animals. They draw the audience into the performance through continuous live music, with performers rather than stagehands changing the props. that it's a show with acrobatics, music, dancers, mimes, cyclists, trapeze artists Each show is a synthesis of circus styles from around the world, with its own central theme and storyline. Cirque expanded rapidly through the 1990s and 2000s, going from one show to 19 shows in over 271 cities on every continent except Africa (until March 2011, as their arena show Saltimbanco will tour South Africa [5]) and Antarctica. The shows employ approximately 4,000 people from over 40 countries and generate an estimated annual revenue exceeding US$810 million. The multiple permanent Las Vegas shows alone play to more than 9,000 people a night, 5% of the city's visitors, adding to the 90 million people who have experienced Cirque worldwide.[7] In 2000, Laliberté bought out Gauthier, and with 95% ownership, has continued to expand the brand.[8] In 2008, Laliberté split 20% of his share equally between two investment groups Istithmar World and Nakheel of Dubai, in order to further finance the company's goals. Creations have been awarded numerous prizes and distinctions, including a Bambi Award in 1997, a Rose d'Or in 1989, Drama Desk Awards in 1991 and 1998, three Gemini Awards and four Primetime Emmy Awards.