Cirque du So Millions: Banking On Russia
Now when one thinks flexible, I doubt very highly it calls to mind, Russia. That's right, the nation has the allure of unforgiving serious stiffness to say the least. But, in an attempt to change all that, Cirque du Soleil is swooping in and balancing a record $57 million in a new Moscow show that will serve as a test show before it official and permanent launch in 2015.
The opening of "Zarkana, as they're calling the performance, marks Cirque du Soleil's largest financial investment on a non-permanent show to date. In an interview with Reuters, the Montreal-based company said, the $57 million it would invest in the highly acrobatic show is significantly more than the $30-$50 million it was previously eyeing for all of Russia.
So what's so special about Russia? Well... as it turns out, historically, Russia happens to be big with circus style entertainment making them the best target audience as the fastest growing market when it comes to this performance form. Daniel Lamarre of Cirque du Soleil stated, "Zarkana, for us, is a test to see if the market can bear a permanent show... [The show] will tell me much more about the clientele in Moscow. If we have the success that I think we will have, this will definitely confirm the means for a permanent presence.
This is not the first time Cirque has the Ruskie itch. In fact, Reuters confirms that the 26-year-old Cirque du Soleil came to Russia two years ago and is now in the three Russian cities of Moscow, Kazan and Saint Petersburg. It will add the Urals city of Yekaterinburg later this year. Cirque has always been embraced by Russia. And deserving so. Cirque du Soleil recently revealed that a fifth of its 1,000 artists are from Russia. Furthermore, the vice chairman, Craig Cohon, went on to tell Reuters, "The response from the previous two shows was amazing, the best we've seen anywhere else in the world!"
Come 2012 at Russia's Kremlin Palace and running for 9 weeks... If you find yourself floating through the air with the greatest of ease, be sure to see what the performers of Zarkana can do on the trapeze.
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