…nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time

When Guy Laliberté returned to Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec after trying to make a go of it in Europe as a busker he brought home a new skill, the art of fire-breathing. Unfortunately there wasn’t a huge market for fire breathers in Baie-Saint-Paul that summer of 1979 so, while collecting unemployment insurance, he helped some friends to organize a local fair.

One of these friends was a fellow named Gilles Ste-Croix, who managed a hostel for performing artists and was amazed at the depth of their talent.  Ste-Croix had dreamed up the idea of organizing them into a performing troupe.  Laliberté was game.  There was even government funding available for such endeavors, all they had to do was convince the right people.

So Ste-Croix borrowed a pair of stilts and walked the 56 miles from Baie-Saint-Paul to Quebec City.  By the time he arrived at the Parliament Building everyone in the province knew who he was and the grant was received.

Although the touring troupe was popular it was becoming financially unviable by 1983, when just in the nick of time Laliberté managed to land a $1.5 million grant to host a production as part of Quebec’ 450th anniversary celebration of Jacques Cartier’s discovery of Canada.

The 1984 production was called “Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil” and it was a huge success.  So much so that the two men managed to secure even more funding to hire Guy Caron of the National Circus School to transform their show into a theatrical “nouveau” circus (along the lines of the Moscow Circus) that relied solely on performing people as opposed to performing animals.

Now based in Montreal, Cirque du Soleil is an entertainment company that employs nearly 4,000 people from over 40 countries.  With an annual revenue of around $810 million (US), it features 19 different shows, with performances in 270 cities on every continent except Antarctica. While Ste-Croix left the show (and later returned) and financial investors have come and gone, Laliberté remained and now has 95 percent ownership.

The largest venue for “Cirque” is a specially built theatre at the Las Vegas Mirage Hotel & Casino that can accommodate 9,000 spectators a night. By far the most popular ongoing production there is “Love” which combines re-produced Beatles numbers with an interpretive acrobatic performance.

Yet another amazing concept, it was the result of a friendship between Guy Laliberté and George Harrison. Although it took years of heavy negotiations between surviving Beatles, Beatles widows and Apple records, the show finally set sail in 2006 … with today’s selection as one of its numbers.

Written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney) “All You Need is Love” was initially performed on “Our World,” the first live Global television link in history (June 1967), watched by 400 million people in 26 countries. The BBC had commissioned The Beatles to write a song for the UK’s contribution and the day before the broadcast they decided to release it as their next single. It went straight to Number 1 in both the UK and the U.S. as soon as it was released.

As color television broadcasting had yet to reach much of the world, including Britain, in 1967 the program was broadcast in black and white and only later partially colorized (based on color photographs) for The Beatles Anthology documentary.

Here is the Cirque du Soleil mix that intriguingly blends a few quick disparate “samples”, including the White Album’s “Good Night.”  What better way to kick off another LOVE  themed week?

LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Sunday 16 September

  All You Need is Love

 Love, Love, Love.

Love, Love, Love.

Love, Love, Love.

 There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done.

Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung.

Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game.

It’s easy.

 Nothing you can make that can’t be made.

No one you can save that can’t be saved.

Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time.

It’s easy.

 All you need is Love.

All you need is Love.

All you need is Love, Love.

Love is all you need.

All you need is Love.

All you need is Love.

All you need is Love, Love.

Love is all you need.

Nothing you can know that isn’t known.

Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.

Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.

It’s easy.

 All you need is Love.

All you need is Love.

All you need is Love, Love.

Love is all you need.

 All you need is Love (All together, now!)

All you need is Love (Everybody!)

All you need is Love, Love.

Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

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