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  • Writer's picturescott kim

Cirque du Soleil (1988)

SYMMETRY. 180° rotation

INSPIRATION. I first saw Cirque du Soleil in 1988 when their traveling big top first touched San Francisco. I immediately fell in love with their new take on what a circus can be, and have been immensely pleased to see them grow into a world-wide phenomenon. I set pencil to paper, and found that "Cirque du Soleil" works well. Fourteen years later I set mouse to pad and rendered what I had sketched.

STORY. Started in 1984 as part of a government sponsored celebration in Quebec, Cirque reinvented the circus as a musical visual experience with great beauty and mystery, minus the animals and huckster vibe. I am reminded a bit of the great French magician Robert-Houdin, who reinvented magic as a sophisticated evening entertainment, rather than a carnival side show. At once traditional and avant garde, Cirque has struck a chord with audiences all over the world, and has become an institution with multiple shows and performing groups.

"Circus" comes from the same root as "circle", referring to the circular stage in which traditional circuses are staged. "Soleil" means "sun", and the sun is the symbol of Cirque du Soleil. I have used the circle as the setting for this design, and incorporated elements that suggest moon, sun and stars.

Explore the world of Cirque du Soleil at

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