Big top Chapiteau

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kraze56's picture
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Big top Chapiteau

I remember a while back, on some cirque wiki type site someone explained the various big tops or chapiteaux CDS uses. They each have a name or did back then for that matter. Some, for certain climates (white vs blue and yellow striped) now the blue yellow swirl.
Since then they've donated tents to Haiti, made bags and wallets out of them. I want to know if anyone has more info on that?!

le Maitre's picture
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They still each have a name.

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Do you have any more info, or know where to find this info?
These little facts are pretty cool.

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**Double post**

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Lets try and get more info on this!! Doug just mentioned this on the facebook group.

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Now we know Kurios' big top name is Wouter II, Luzia's big top name is Luna anyone know others?

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I still have the text. It's old but we can see about updating it.

# # # # #

Blue and Yellow striped tent #1 ("Helios")
The original of the large Cirque du Soleil Grand Chapiteaus, this tent premiered with Nouvelle Expérience and continued on with each subsequent tour.
Nouvelle Expérience - North American Tour (1990-1991)
Saltimbanco - North American Tour (1992-1993)
Alegría - North American Tour 1 (1994-1995)
Quidam - North American Tour 1 (1996-1998)
Dralion - North American Tour (1999-2003)
Alegría - North American Tour 2 (2003-2004)
Saltimbanco - Latin American Tour (2005-2006)
Kooza - North American Tour (2007-2010)

Blue and Yellow striped tent #2 ("Gaïa")
This brand new canvas debuted in Miami with Dralion in February 2001. It was used as a jump kit for Dralion and was then sent to Quidam when it went to Australia.
Dralion - North American Tour (2001-2003)
Quidam - Australian-Pacific Tour, North American Tour 3, Asian Tour, Mexico Tour, European Tour 2 (2004-2008)
Alegría - Dubai (2009)
Quidam - South American Tour (2009-2010)

Blue and Yellow striped tent #3
A new chapiteau was created for Varekai's Asian tour.
Varekai - Asian Tour (2011)
2012 show - North American Tour (2012-?)


Blue and Yellow swirl tent #1 ("Bellinya")
This Grand Chapiteau made its debut in Miami, when Quidam returned for its second North American Tour. It was the first tent with a swirl design. After Quidam moved to Japan, the tent was used as a jump kit for Varekai. Quidam got it back when it performed in western Canada in 2004, and then it was sent to Corteo.
Quidam - North American Tour 2 (2002)
Varekai - Atlanta, Chicago, Pomona, San Diego (2003-2004)
Quidam - Western Canada Tour (2004)
Corteo - North American Tour (2005-2008)
Ovo - North American Tour (2009-present)


Blue and Yellow swirl tent #2 ("Vivia")
This tent debuted with Varekai in Montréal in April 2002. It stayed with the tour and has been used for every city except those listed above in Blue & White #1, where the jump kit was used.
Varekai - North American Tour, Australia-Pacific Tour (2002-2007)
Dralion - Australian Tour (2008-2009)
Totem - Québec Tour, Amsterdam, North American Tour (2010-present)


White tent #1 ("Funambule")
Saltimbanco - Tokyo, European Tour 1, Ottawa, Australian Tour, Asia-Pacific Tour (1994-2000)
Alegría - Australia-Pacific Tour, North American Tour 2 (2001-2003)
Dralion - European Tour (2004-2007)
Varekai - European Tour (2007-2011)


White tent #2 ("Alexis")
Alegría - European Tour 1 (1997-1999)
Quidam - European Tour 1 (1999-2001)
Satimbanco - European Tour (2002-2005)
Alegría - European Tour 2, South American Tour (2006-2009)
Dralion - Mexico Tour (2009-2010)
Corteo - European Tour (2010-present)


White tent #3 (Fuji tent)
This tent, a replica of the others, was used for Saltimbanco's 2001-2002 tour of Japan.
Saltimbanco - Japan tour (2001-2002)


White dome
This domed structure is a mastless "tent" design developed by Fuji for Cirque du Soleil's Japan tours. It's much more complex to set up (involving a crane).
Quidam - Japan Tour (2003-2004)
Alegría - Japan Tour 2 (2004-2005)


Blue and White dome
A recreation of the Fuji tent, also mastless.
Dralion - Japan Tour (2007-2008)


Harajuku Grand Chapiteau
The next iteration of Japan tents.
Corteo - Japan Tour (2009-2010)
Kooza - Japan Tour (2011-2012)
Other tents

 

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Interesting. I was under the impression that they just kept a tent in storage between shows that came to Australia and hence the 'Australian Big Top' but it seems like that might just be a once off thing. Because I was told that the Totem tent in Aus was fresh out of storage from the OVO run in Aus which then went to Singapore before being retired. Someone mentioned that the current Kooza one is a new big top.

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Why did Varekai need a 'jump kit'? I know the time between San Jose and Atlanta was a pretty tight turnover but couldn't they just have scheduled it so that they didn't have to change big tops? Also, I suspect that Alexis was also used for Alegria's Asian tour in Seoul and Taipei.

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Thank you Richasi!!! I have been looking for a cached version of Cirque Tribunes explanation, and you delivered!!

I really do want to get the updated history of the Grand Chapiteaux (Big Tops). Its Cirque's symbol, the first thing you see when you approach the site, the dome that contains the magic.

I know when I see it, I feel it just creates its own atmosphere and hype in the air. Just the science and physics alone of these structures is nothing short of impressive!

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Tracker: It's not that Varekai needed it; that big top became available to use once Quidam jumped to Japan. Since they don't use the traditional canvas big tops in Japan, that particular big top would have sat idle for a while. The jump kits were a nice experiment allowing for a quick installation and jump from one side of the country to another. If you look at the Varekai schedule... the cross-country and tight opening/closing dates were made possible by the jump kit.

VIVIA -- San Francisco, CA — 7 November 2002 to 29 December 2002
VIVIA -- San Jose, CA — 16 January 2003 to 23 February 2003
BELLINYA -- Atlanta, GA — 6 March 2003 to 13 April 2003
VIVIA -- New York, NY — 24 April 2003 to 6 July 2003
BELLINYA -- Chicago, IL — 17 July 2003 to 31 August 2003
VIVIA -- Los Angeles, CA — 12 September 2003 to 23 November 2003
BELLINYA -- Pomona, CA — 4 December 2003 to 28 December 2003
VIVIA -- Costa Mesa, CA — 16 January 2004 to 7 March 2004
BELLINYA -- San Diego, CA — 18 March 2004 to 18 April 2004
VIVIA -- Phoenix, AZ — 29 April 2004 to 23 May 2004

By this time Quidam took it back for Vancouver and Calgary, then Bellinya went off to Montreal for Corteo's premiere in April 2005.


Kraze56: No problem! I've wanted to update this text for a while and republish but I just haven't had the time. It would be nice to bring this up to date. Hopefully we can!

 

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Well with the individual looks for luzia and Volta it'll definitely be easier to keep track of things.  

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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Colton: Yeah, at least for them :)  It's the other big tops that'll be harder to track down now. Especially since I do remember a new yellow-and-blue striped tent entering the mix not that long ago. Or it could be my imagination. I am getting old.

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Oh sorry Richasi, I misunderstood. I thought Bellinya was used just for that one transition between cities. Didn't realise they just kept alternating between the two. This is so interesting to find out!

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Just told that the new blue and yellow big top in Japan doesn't have a name.

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They only have one at a time, and their life span is pretty short. I think Fuji Dome is the moniker for them all.

La Nouba, Corteo, Delirium, Ovo, Quidam, Totem, Saltimbanco, Immortal, Amaluna. 

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I emailed cirque, curious about the names of the big tops and some woman emailed back saying that Amaluna and Kooza's tents dont have names. But I don't believe her. I dislike all the people they get to respond to emails becuase they always seem to lack knowledge and can't be bothered to try and find answers to your question if it won't help them sell tickets.

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At least, that's how it is nowadays. Just 2-3 years ago they were far more helpful and willing.

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Maybe we can ask to an artist They must know

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Richasi's picture
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Tracker: Oh, that's crap! 

Unfortunately a lot of good, interested people were either purged or left when Cirque went through their financial problems. What is in place now are more traditional media and marketing folks who don't necessarily have a clue about the brand they are now representing. This isn't to say they're bad people or aren't enthusiastic about their jobs, BUT, their knowledge and fan-service is greatly lacking. 

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First they changed the design of the outside of the tent, now they're changing the inside. They completely redesigned the Tapis Rouge Tent for Luzia (if you went before San Fran you would've missed it unfortunately). It's got glass walls to open up the space and involve the patrons in the tent to get involved in the action going on outside. It is also bigger and the furniture and decor is more themed than for other shows. https://youtu.be/G91_KcRvdtE 

I don't know if the tapis rouge tent is the same in all countries, but in Australia it’s absolutely terrible. The space is this tiny corridor on the left front corner of the tent which has little more than a few cocktail tables, a tiny snack table and a boutique that stocks almost nothing. The space is cramped and more like “we have this extra space in the entrance tent, lets create an exclusive lounge” rather than “lets create an exclusive lounge, we can attach it to the entrance tent” feel. And now they have lounge add–ons for $60AUD which pretty much defeats the purpose of tapis rouge tickets. It’s honestly the biggest waste of money. Other than the lanyard, theres nothing that makes you feel special when you buy these tickets.