Cirque du Soleil will mark the world premiere of its touring show "Bazzar" in India soon. The country will play an important role in the growth of the globally popular live entertainment company, said its CEO Daniel Lamarre.
They want to take it slow and find the right moves to enter the heart of Indians.
"We always wanted to go to India. It is such a great country. We will learn from the country and we think the timing is right. We truly believe and hope that with our approach, India will become one of the most important countries for Cirque du Soleil," Lamarre said in an interview here.
Cirque du Soleil is known for reinventing the culture of circus with themed, theatre-style acts — without animals — featuring multi-talented performers such as acrobats, gymnasts, mimes and musicians.
Originally composed of 20 street performers in 1984, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has wowed audiences with its death-defying stunts, extravagant sets and whimsical costumes through its productions in close to 450 cities in 60 countries.
Recalling the origin of the idea to come to the "economically sound" India, he said: "I have been at Cirque for 17 years and I have a lot of Indian friends and they were always saying, 'How come you are not coming to our country?'. We had to wait to find the right partner."
For the India foray, they have partnered with BookMyShow. "Bazzar", its 43rd original production with an Indian artiste Rajesh Mudki, will have its world premiere in India with shows in Delhi and Mumbai later this year, before heading to other countries.
Lamarre hopes that in 15 years from now, he can say, "Have you seen the influence of India in our change and in our evolution?".
"I believe that India will influence our evolution moving forward. A lot of people talk about diversity. At Cirque du Soleil, we don't talk about diversity. We live it every day with different nationalities influencing our growth. Now, it is your (India's) turn to influence the growth and content of Cirque du Soleil."
Lamarre is sure that he will "go back with new artistes and new ideas" from the "rich Indian culture".
"I want more and more artistes coming from your country because you have great talent."
The production level and scale of "Bazzar" has been tweaked. But Lamarre feels it will give a basic idea about the Cirque du Soleil show.
"The creative process was to deliver to India the best level of performance that you can deliver and that is what 'Bazzar' is all about."
How have they worked out the logistics for tickets?
"We have brought 'Bazzar' to a scale and pricing which can be affordable. When we enter a new country, we want to get involved socially and that is what we would like to do in India as well. There are programmes which we want to develop and bring to the country to help the people who don't have as much money as they should.
"Having said that, the ticket price will be affordable to a majority of people."
Lamarre is not oblivious to the power and influence of Indian cinema. And feels it will work in favour for their format.
"I don't see the movie business as our competitor. It is a little bit like what I have observed in China. Movie business was developed first, and now live entertainment is following.
"I see the same pattern in India. The fact that there is a well established movie industry in India is a positive for us and not a negative. It is making people more open to new type of entertainment and that is what we are going to offer."
Going forward, they want to "listen to the Indian market" to paint a success story.
"We believe we will succeed in India," Lamarre said.
By Sugandha Rawal