Behind the curtain secrets from industry expert Bianca Ross
“At Cirque le Soir we are reality augmenters and world creators. We like to push boundaries and tantalise all your senses. Right from the minute you walk down our Willy-Wonka-on-acid staircase. Or getting flipped over into our swimming pool sized ball pit and beyond.” Bianca Ross, Event Manager
You are amazing at being so creative, and quirky… what challenges have you faced in corporate events?
The shows are created individually and helping clients realise that is actually our biggest challenge. We design each event, for each client and what that encompasses. So people go “Oh Cirque, they’re great but I don’t think burlesque is appropriate for my son’s Barmitzvah”
Well, I would NEVER put burlesque in a Barmitzvah, so that’s alright then! We have over 400 different performers all with a myriad of acts and costumes so (to continue the hypothetical) for an event with a wide and varied age range such as that we would focus in and suggest acts that were more light hearted and comedic. Character acts, fire breathers, contortionists and magicians all spring to mind.
… how do you overcome this?
Showcases, images, and repeating myself about 50 times a day
What is your favourite event that you’ve hosted, if you could choose?
There are so many! From amazing people to amazing themes and installations… it’s hard to pick.
Creating, theming, building and running the VIP area of Wireless – as that pushed my boundaries in ways that I couldn’t even fathom and made me a MUCH better events manager and department head.
Also an event we did with a tech company where we had our performers interact with their AI robots and little gadgets because not only did I get to convert the whole venue into a mad Mario Kart style race course, it was also an interesting dichotomy of technology and performance art interacting with each other and then watching people’s reactions
When we converted the entire venue into an American Frat House and did a showcase event. Literally the best party I’ve ever thrown
My first event after the fire that nearly destroyed us. It was a 6 month uphill battle where the entire team made huge personal sacrifices to get the venue back up and open again. It was just so emotional that we were BACK. Thinking about opening those doors for the first time again stills overwhelms me a little.
Your production and entertainment is incredible – can clients recreate the Cirque Le Soir experience elsewhere?
Absolutely! We have our Cirque le Soir World Tour where we take the Cirque experience all over the world and have done for the last 5 years. We currently do about 80 external events a year and mainly through the summer months.
Finally, we know it’d be so difficult to choose… what is your favourite act?
I think act is the wrong word. I think show would be more appropriate because when we put together a performer package we don’t look at the individual act. It’s about how the 7 or 8 acts will come over as a whole and we pick the individual performances, costumes, music, lighting etc to go along with an overall show theme.
It sounds arbitrary and pedantic but honestly when you think big picture first and then drill down to details with end game in mind it makes the hugest difference.
My favourite show of 2017 so far is quite easily when the American Elections were on and we did an All American Showcase.
From Tiny Trump to a Wayne’s World Burlesque act, to cowboy dwarves and firebreathing cheerleaders – it was just the MOST fun to both pay homage and take the mick out of our neighbours over the pond. Cirque style, naturally!
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