MONTREAL/HANGZHOU, China (Reuters) – As the coronavirus pandemic ripped around the globe, Cirque du Soleil, a circus troupe formed by Quebec street performers that become a global powerhouse, saw most of its operations grind to a halt in barely 48 hours.
The company, which gained international renown for extravagant shows featuring acrobats, jugglers, firebreathers and musicians, was forced to shut down productions in China, Italy and the United States, among other countries. This month, it filed for bankruptcy protection and is close to reaching a restructuring deal..
“I never thought in my life that I would wake up one day and basically in 48 hours we end up with no shows, no revenues,” CEO Daniel Lamarre told Reuters.
“It was very tough because from hour to hour I was learning that one country was shut down and then the other country was shut down.”
Lamarre, who joined Cirque in 2001 as an executive scouting for new opportunities for its high-flying acts, was left scrambling to help performers get home from closed productions abroad and find warehouses to store its 50 trucks of equipment per show.
Before the pandemic, the entertainment company had 44 performances running worldwide and generated about $1 billion in annual revenues from shows that featured underwater performances and others based on Michael Jackson, Lionel Messi and The Beatles.
Show cancellations led the company to permanently or temporarily lay off 95% of workers.
“My whole Facebook feed was just sadness,” said Chris Gatti, a former high-bar performer and consultant for the company.
Privately held Cirque declined to divulge ticket sales but court documents show the company had nearly $1.5 billion in liabilities.
He Guowei, a performer at the company’s Land of Fantasy show in China, practiced his human body juggling specialty at home after the show shuttered in January due to the pandemic.
“We feel frustrated when we know the show is suspended,” he recalled while training in Hangzhou. “And we also have fears because we have no idea how bad the epidemic is.”
The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest threat to face Cirque du Soleil, which was created in the early 1980s as “The Stiltwalkers of Baie-Saint-Paul” in Quebec, before becoming a global entertainment company thanks to sold out Las Vegas shows, touring productions and acquisitions.
The shows, which have no animals or star performers, helped some key troupe members become wealthy. Guy Laliberté, a performer and co-founder of the company, is on Forbes list of Canadian billionaires.
While Cirque sees a potential reopening in the fall for its resident productions in Las Vegas and Orlando, Lamarre only expects the company to get back to where it was in terms of the number of shows, revenues and profits in 2023.
“We think that it will take a year to 18 months before we’re back to normality which means having a vaccine or a cure that makes people feel safe in a theater. And then from there we think that within a couple of years we’ll be able to bring back the company where it was.”
The Cirque is seeing some green shoots of recovery with the reopening of the Chinese production last month, and another show opening in early July in Mexico.
In Hangzhou, China, He Guowei said he thinks attendance is higher than before the pandemic, except the audience now wears masks. Cirque du Soleil did not immediately respond to questions about ticket sales.
“When we stepped on the stage again, we felt almost the same (as) when we made our debut in last August,” he said. “The effort we made during this time was not in vain.”
Reporting and photo: Reuters
Nicole Scherzinger and Thom Evans Indulge in Romantic Valentine’s Day Getaway at Seaside Finolhu Maldives
Nicole Scherzinger, the renowned singer, dancer, and former Pussycat Doll, along with her beau Thom Evans, celebrated Valentine’s Day in style with a luxurious retreat to the breathtaking Seaside Finolhu resort in the Maldives. The couple, known for their shared love of travel and adventure, took to Instagram to share glimpses of their romantic escapade in the picturesque Baa Atoll.
In a series of posts on her Instagram account, Nicole Scherzinger offered her followers a glimpse into their idyllic holiday. One photo depicted the couple basking in the Maldivian sunshine, with Scherzinger expressing gratitude for their time together in paradise. Another post showcased Scherzinger’s yoga prowess as she performed a headstand on the resort’s pristine sandbank, accompanied by a reflective caption on the balance of life.
The songstress also treated her followers to snapshots of her soaking up the sun at the private pool of their villa, radiating joy and relaxation. A video clip captured her embracing her inner “water baby,” reveling in the crystal-clear waters of the Maldives. Scherzinger didn’t forget the occasion, sharing a heartfelt Valentine’s Day message dedicated to Evans and their fans worldwide.
Thom Evans, a former rugby player turned model, echoed Scherzinger’s sentiments on his own Instagram account. Sharing moments from their Maldivian getaway, Evans marveled at the beauty of Seaside Finolhu, labeling it as “magic” and hinting at a future return to the tropical haven.
Seaside Finolhu Maldives, nestled within the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve of Baa Atoll, is renowned for its pristine beaches, turquoise lagoons, and luxurious accommodations. The resort offers a range of experiences, from indulgent spa treatments to thrilling water sports, promising an unforgettable retreat for discerning travelers like Scherzinger and Evans.
Nicole Scherzinger’s affinity for the Maldives is well-documented, with the singer having visited the tropical archipelago on multiple occasions. Each trip serves as a testament to her love for the destination’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere.
As the couple bids farewell to their Maldivian paradise, their Instagram posts stand as cherished memories of a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, inspiring wanderlust in their followers and cementing Seaside Finolhu Maldives as a premier destination for luxury travel and romance.
Sun Siyam Olhuveli Hosts Electrifying Valentine’s Event, Paradise Pulse
Featured artists included UK BBC Radio 1 broadcaster and producer DJ Jeremiah, Spanish DJ Toni Mesas, Italian pop artist Matilda-G, Finnish DJ Jetro, and British singer-songwriter Shébani.
Sun Siyam Olhuveli Maldives celebrated love and entertainment in style with its inaugural Valentine’s event, Paradise Pulse, on February 14th, 2024. Living up to its commitment to becoming the premier entertainment destination in the South Malé Atoll, the event surpassed expectations, offering an unforgettable experience for all attendees.
Festive Atmosphere and Culinary Delights:
The evening kicked off with a lively cocktail party, where guests enjoyed refreshing drinks and mingled against a backdrop of stunning ocean views. Live performances by acclaimed Finnish saxophonist Jetro set the mood, creating an atmosphere buzzing with excitement.
Following the reception, guests indulged in a romantic beachside dinner featuring a delectable menu curated by Sun Siyam Olhuveli’s talented F&B and events team.
The highlight of the evening was the world-class entertainment lineup, featuring renowned artists MatildaG, Shébani, DJ Jeremiah, and DJ Toni. Their dynamic performances kept the crowd energized and added to the vibrant atmosphere.
A Diverse and Memorable Celebration:
The event drew a diverse crowd, including locals, special guests from local media, and in-house guests, all united in celebrating love and enjoying the entertainment. Sun Siyam Olhuveli’s seamless service and upbeat atmosphere ensured a flawless execution, leaving a lasting impression on everyone present.
Looking Ahead to More Exciting Events:
Paradise Pulse at Sun Siyam Olhuveli was a resounding success, celebrating love, music, and creating unforgettable memories. As the resort continues to elevate its entertainment offerings, guests can look forward to many more exciting events in the future.
CROSSROADS Maldives Opens Doors to a World of Discovery with Free Transfers and Unforgettable Experiences
Exciting news washes ashore as CROSSROADS Maldives, the renowned lifestyle and leisure destination, announces a wave of new offerings designed to make exploring its vibrant realm easier and more enticing than ever before.
Seamless Journeys, Boundless Excitement:
Starting February 16th, 2024, complimentary transfers open the door to The Marina, CROSSROADS’ heart of vibrant entertainment and culinary delights. A user-friendly app simplifies the process, ensuring effortless travel from Male, Hulhumale, and even the airport directly. Whether seeking a luxurious end to your trip or a captivating break within your vacation, these convenient transfers break down barriers and unlock a world of possibilities.
Unlocking Discovery with a Simple Spend:
To embark on this journey of exploration, a minimal spend of $20 per person (excluding children under 12) grants access to endless experiences. This simple step becomes your passport to an integrated paradise, where every corner brims with excitement and discovery.
Say goodbye to the “one-island, one-resort” limitation and step into a world exceeding every expectation. At CROSSROADS Maldives, every moment is an adventure:
- Enchanting Escape: Dive into the captivating atmosphere of SAii Beach Club with Pool, the pulsating rhythms of Hard Rock Cafe, and diverse retail experiences.
- Culinary Delights: Embark on a gastronomic journey with over 14 dining options, including the famed Ministry of Crab, recognized as one of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.
- Tranquility & Exploration: Find solace at Len Be Well spa, capture stunning memories at the Yacht Marina, and unlock local secrets at the Marine Discovery Centre.
- Underwater Encounters: Dive into the vibrant underwater world with the Maldives Discovery Centre and Best Dives Centre.
- Little Adventurers: Let young explorers create unforgettable memories at Koimala & Maalimi’s Junior Beach Club & Camp.
This is just a glimpse into the extraordinary experiences awaiting at CROSSROADS Maldives. With complimentary transfers and a world of discovery within reach, the time to create your own Maldivian adventure is now.
Book your journey today and unlock a wave of excitement at CROSSROADS Maldives!
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