Spectacular show project Cirque du Soleil rocked the world of circus art to remind that circus can not only entertain but also create new reality. Crazy experiments on human body defy any power on gravity and miracle-plays of sound and light lure the audience into a twilight labyrinth of philosophical dramas letting them get to the sun together with characters of stagings.
To create an innovatory circus from scratch for a vagarious artist without a nickel in own name is probably riskier than walk a wire over an abyss, however daring self-trained Canadian fakir Guy Laliberté was no stranger to the routine. At the age of fourteen he ran away from home for the first time with a crew of street circus men, four years later he dropped out of college for the sake of a tour, travelled all over the globe and learned to swallow fire but fate in the person of loyal friends, associates and companions was expecting him in an unremarkable town Baie-Saint-Paul in his native Quebec. A promising equilibrist on stilts Gilles Ste-Croix and business consultant Daniel Gauthier helped Guy gather a crew at upper-crust hostel Balcon Vert; at that, many veterans of the first draft are still engaged in main programs.
With an intention to treat blase audience with an inflammatory cocktail of circus art, musical, theatre and ballet, trio of dare-devils didn’t feel for necessary proportions of ingredients instantly. Governmental grant helped them stay afloat; Gilles had to walk on stilts ninety kilometers to Quebec City to prove municipal officials that the endeavor was worth something.
Momentous instant came in 1983 when Guy obtained permission to perform on city festival in Montreal dedicated to 450th anniversary since discovery of Canada. The audience welcomed an unusual show with open arms thus inspiring young artists to take a trip to a circus festival in Los Angeles though there weren’t enough money in their pockets even for a return ticket. Star of success was merely trembling over a misty horizon but folks declared ample ambitions at once and registered their crew under the name Cirque du Soleil (Circus of the Sun). Luckily, large investors got interested in the project and Laliberté’s vivid imagination finally went up hill and down dale; circus got excellent training base in Las Vegas at their disposal staffed with innovative equipment and gimmicky exercisers.
Since 1992 Cirque du Soleil produces a fresh staging each year to build brick by brick electric image of third-millennium circus that addresses intelligent adult audience. They don’t show acts there but tell stories and parables on finding own self and acquiring sense of life, reflect slightest shades of emotions, thoughts and feelings of characters of performances by means of acrobatics, pantomime and optical illusions. Each program is written as a complete plot, arranged quest-like. On the way to happiness characters of performances go through exciting adventures and mystic enlightenments, fall in love and suffer from unrequited love, meet mysterious creatures, come into battle with own fears and come back victorious thus helping the audience believe in their powers to change their lives drastically and right now.
Eccentric design of the show makes the hall plunge into an atmosphere of a magic fairy tale, keeping the audience in suspense till the end of the show. As nearly as for the first time in history of circus Laliberté made audience watch artists from height, not from the bottom upwards, by locating the ring above the seats. Acrobats either fall on the audience from beneath the big top or rise from the depth using a complicated system of manholes and disappear in the mist upon completion of performance leaving onlookers perplexed. World-famous designers Thierry Mugler and Eiko Ishioka took part in elaboration of stage costumes that are produced individually for each actor; penetrating live music helps find a way in virtual reality of a show. Critics believe that the brightest tracks of Cirque du Soleil were created by composer René Dupéré, awarded with Grammy for a soundtrack to Alegria show program.
Currently about a thousand actors are listed as the main crew and another three thousand people from diffrent countries perform in shows on tours. By the way, almost three quarters of artists in the database of the company come from CIS countries. Laliberté sincerely admires virtuoso techniques and iron discipline of followers of the old school of circus and sports art. Some comic gags were borrowed from Litsedei clownage theatre and during a tour around Russia Cirque du Soleil prepared several routines in association with the art director of the theatre Vyacheslav Polunin.
Despite unreserved devotion to art, Cirque du Soleil doesn't deny burning social problems and regularly participates in public initiatives aimed at protection of environment. Management of the circus support fauna-protecting movement and refuses to have routines with animals as a matter of principle. And in 2009 Laliberté made the main trick of his life - went directly to the orbit and right there on board of ISS held a splebdid show Moving Earth and Stars for Water that calls for fight against water scarcity on the planet.
In 2015 Guy shocked the audience once again by announcing sale of the circus, dividing shares of the enterprise between TPG and Fosun International investment companies along with Quebec Pension Fund. Amount of the deal is estimated about a billion and a half US dollars. It is impossible to believe that the blatant eccentric decided to come to anchor - most likely in boisterous head of arrant adventuer wheels of another crazy escapade have been set in motion. And Guy wouldn't let anyone heart his favorite child: contract stipulates that art-related decisions remain within the competence of the old guard. Star called Sun will shine for many years to come!
Anime admirers would never pass by contemporary Japanese art. Especially if this trend is directly related to manga comics. Artist Takashi Murakami was the first to think about how to dub an art that catches inspiration in every new anime, but speaks of eternal values, interlacing with the ethnic canvases of Western artists.
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The artist from New Zealand Hayley King working under the brand FLOX is well-known all over the world for the fascinating pictures showing the enlightened beauty of wild nature. Her colorful birds, picturesque landscapes, and fairy-tale-like animals remind us about the necessity to get united with the primordial nature. Hayley King creates the type of art giving inspiration and vitality. She is concentrated onto recognition of ancient heritage of the sacral places and making it spread among the wide publics. In the interview the artist told us about her social projects, travels and the modern cultural trends inherent to New Zealand.
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
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The Japanese are one of those peoples who zealously respect the ancient traditions. They respect old age, being interested in ancestors and often know the family ancestry by heart. With such a worldview, it is not surprising that a unique technique for the restoration of kintsugi appeared exactly there. Read about it in Outlook.
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‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
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The most recognizable brand in the world and one of the oldest in France, Louis Vuitton is a symbol of luxury, elitism and aristocracy. It all began with high-quality suitcases, then proceeded to various kinds of bags and nowadays the brand produces everything: women's clothes, men's clothes, outfits for children, footwear and accessories. At that, currently Louis Vuitton doesn’t operate only in luxury segment - they have expanded their influence to pret-a-porter.
Yesterday I created a Universe. I took some peas, rice, buckwheat, millet, black and white pepper seeds and cardamom. Grabbed a handful of coffee and aniseeds. Then it all acquired a centre. It kept growing and calming my thoughts. When the last seed landed in the circle, I felt forgotten harmony again, heard birds singing through the noise of cars on the avenue, sensed fragrance of violets that a neighbor of mine was growing on her balcony and a recollection of Funtik from floor 5 and his tail evoked a flush of tenderness towards the shaggy monster.
Dazzling flashes of ancient knowledge manifested in colourful shimmering beads and in elaborated yarn mosaics by Huichol Indians, captivate the imagination calling for an endless journey through branches of the world tree. Spiritual images take on flesh in intricate ornaments that accompany a Mexican peasant throughout his life. Twilight land of legends always have a shelter for a weary traveller: no one is alone on the paths of spirits.
His greatest achievement is the creation of a long-lasting colour nail enamel. However, there are other significant inventions on his account: hair spray, waterproof mascara, liquid foundation cream... What would we do without Charles Revson, the exalted and wayward genius who did not have proper education? It was he who invented all these women's essentials and created the legendary Revlon.
More than fifteen hundred years ago Romans were awe struck when they caught the very first sight of the Sistine Chapel. After that masters of painting were born and dead as well as whole pictural art styles. And contemporaries of you and me gape on the distinguished temple. However, while admiring another line intricacy and allusive painting theme, bear in mind that beneath the plot of glossy surface, as per usual, stand painfully familiar disputes with an impatient client, unpleasant surprises from nature and damaged health of painters-executants.
Dirty cars are like a host for an artist. One may treat such art differently. Someone will wrinkle his nose and disdainfully wrestle his clothes. Others necessarily want to put a finger in such a picture in order to check the fragility of the "canvas" and smear its outlines. However, others will definitely make a selfie. However, nobody can pass by.
In every art there are formats and rules – once in “mainstream” an Artist won’t have to starve. Even more so in totalitarian times when every sphere of people’s life is controlled and affected and selfhood has to be forgotten as such. It is probably in the face of a system natural talents emerge for their work to become immortal. Today Outlook recalls one of them, artist Kateryna Bilokur.