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Cirque Du SoleilŪ The Spark: Igniting the Creative Fire That Lives Within Us All    by John U. Bacon & Lyn Heward order for
Cirque Du SoleilŪ The Spark
by John U. Bacon
Order:  USA  Can
Doubleday, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD
* *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

In his Foreword, Cirque du SoleilŪ Founder and CEO Guy Laliberte writes, 'They work alone and they work together learning to connect with and touch people in new ways, endeavouring always to reinvent themselves And they aspire to give back to the world in the endless continuum of change, exchange, and renewal; they are catalysts. 'From a tiny spark a great fire was kindled and its flames warmed the world'.'

This Spark is the indomitable Cirque du SoleilŪ, which, for over two decades - with 3,000 employees and artists, representing forty countries - has toured the world with show themes including, Quidam, O, Saltimbanco (the longest running show), KA, and Mystere. The story of The Spark is told metaphorically featuring Frank Castle, a sports agent bored with his line of work. During free time from a seminar, Frank visits a Las Vegas casino, and follows two men dressed in black. They walk through white doors, down a white corridor, and voila - into a theater with strange staging. Diane approaches Frank, explains a little about the atmosphere, and hands him a ticket to attend a Cirque du SoleilŪ show that evening. And from that ticket, a mesmerizing and passionate world is opened to Frank, who is invited to visit the circus headquarters in Montreal, and other countries.

Diane arranges for Frank to go through the paces that each member of the Company does. From activity on the trapeze bar, the German wheel, the Chinese poles, the Russian swing, down to the artistry of makeup, Frank experiences how the Cirque du SoleilŪ comes together, their philosophy, and applied psychology that applies also in life. He discovers risk-taking, the secret of trust, the force of teamwork and collaboration in the invention and the constant, vigilant maintenance of safety equipment. Frank walks through the fineries of costume design, and shares the encouragement of step-by-step creation by each employee - performers, coaches, riggers, designers, directors, contortionists, musicians, and acrobats. As he leaves his comfort zone, Frank learns to keep the reason for his work in sight - the stimulation of creative thought beyond athletics - and to connect with people.

The story of The Spark was created and choreographed by Lyn Heward, former President and COO of Cirque du Soleil'sŪ Creative Content Division and currently acting as executive producer for a variety of projects. John U. Bacon, the author, writes in his Acknowledgments, 'the people at Cirque Du Soleil talk about the importance of inspiration, collaboration, and trust to any creative endeavor ... the people involved in this book practiced what they preached at every turn ... I hope you enjoy reading this tale as much as I enjoyed living it.'

Just as reading Cirque Du SoleilŪ The Spark feeds the reader's mind, so does experiencing a Cirque du SoleilŪ event open the eyes. Whether by attending a show in person, watching a television broadcast, or reading this book, grab the captivating enchantment and inspiration of The Spark. I had the pleasure of seeing Quidam at Battery Park City in Lower Manhattan ... Magnifique!

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