Logo for Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco
|Company||Cirque du Soleil|
|Show type||Touring tent show (1992-2006); touring arena show (2007-2012)|
|Date of premiere||April 23, 1992 (Montreal)|
|Final show||December 30, 2012 (Montréal)|
|Director of creation||Gilles Ste-Croix (1992)|
Carmen Ruest (2007)
|Costume designer||Dominique Lemieux|
|Set designer||Michel Crête|
|Choreographer||Debra Brown (1992)|
Hélène Lemay (2007)
|Lighting designer||Luc Lafortune|
|Sound designer||Jonathan Deans (1992)|
François Desjardins (2007)
|Make-up designer||Nathalie Gagné (2007)|
|Mask designer||André Hénault (1992)|
|Clown act creator and acting consultant||René Bazinet (2007)|
|Production manager||Pierre Guillotte (2007)|
|Musical Director, Guitars||Francois Dumais (1999), (1992)|
|Preceded by||Nouvelle Expérience (1990)|
|Succeeded by||Mystère (1993)|
Saltimbanco was a touring show by Cirque du Soleil. Saltimbanco ran from 1992 to 2006 in its original form, performed under a large circus tent called the Grand Chapiteau; its last performance in that form was in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on December 10, 2006. A new adaptation of the show started touring North America on July 31, 2007, with its first stop in London, Ontario, Canada. The new version was staged in arenas with fewer performances in each city it visited. The new version closed at the end of 2012.
The show was described by Cirque du Soleil as a celebration of life. Its creators say they developed it as an antidote to the violence and despair prevalent in the 20th century.
English has lost the word 'saltimbank' from current usage; but it is still familiar in Spanish, Portuguese and Italian as 'saltimbanco', and in French as 'saltimbanque', meaning 'street acrobat' or 'entertainer'. According to the company's site, the word "saltimbanco" comes from the Italian "saltare in banco", which means "to jump on a bench." The etymology of the word reflects its acrobatic associations. A 'salto' means a jump in Italian; 'banco' in this connection is a trestle holding a board, set up as a temporary stage for open-air performers. 'Saltimbanchi' were thus those who performed somersaults on a temporary platform--wandering acrobats, performing as buskers in the open air, the platform giving their audience a better view.
Saltimbanco was Cirque du Soleil's longest running production when it closed at the end of 2012. In 2011 it was the first show by Cirque du Soleil to be presented in Turkey, and Ukraine, in 2012 the first show in Slovakia and in Amman, Jordan.Saltimbanco's last performance took place in Montreal on December 30, 2012 after 6,000 big top and arena appearances before 14 million spectators in 200 cities worldwide.
Saltimbanco's set played on opposites and contradictions located within a cityscape. A rosace made of metal rings suspended over the stage allowed light to filter through like leaves on a tree. The lighting was cinematic in effect due to the usage of different colored gels. The facts listed below applied to the arena format of Saltimbanco, although some of these were also applicable to the grand chapiteau tour as well.
Numerous performers had portrayed the Baron and Eddie over the years, including René Bazinet (1992-1996), Gordon White (1993-1994), Julien Cottereau (1994-1997, 2005), Lee Ross (1998-2001), Jesko von den Steinen (2002-2005, 2006), Amo Gulinello (2005-2011), and Martin Pons (2011-2012).
The costumes in Saltimbanco were bright and vivid in color to accentuate the dynamism of the urban city. The colors used in the costumes were all primary colors: cyan, yellow, magenta, and green. The Baron, clad in black, red, and white, wore a cape, length-arm gloves, and tights. The Multi-Colored Worms wore jumpsuits that covered everything but their faces. The Urban Worms's masks were made of a polyester resin base which was both hypoallergenic and permeable to air.
The Saltimbanco score was written and composed by René Dupéré, and was released as a studio album on October 9, 1992. The music has a range of musical influences from the classical to the modern.
The original soundtrack features the vocal work of Canadian vocalist Francine Poitras. In 2005, Cirque du Soleil re-recorded and released the soundtrack to update its music. Some songs were completely re-recorded, while others had new instrumentation added and included Poitras's original vocal track. Additional and new vocals were provided by Laurence Janot, a French singer who was touring with the show at the time. Every track was slightly edited in some form from the original CD.
Several other limited editions of the album have been released. In 2001 Cirque du Soleil Musique released a limited edition of the original 1992 soundtrack featuring two additional tracks, "Arlequin" and "Adagio" (performed by Laur Fugere). Another limited edition of the CD, Saltimbanco Live in Amsterdam, was created and distributed exclusively to staff members of Saltimbanco. The employee special edition features a live, in-house recording of an entire performance and is considered a collector's item.
Below is the list of tracks featured in the 2005 re-release of the album and alongside are the acts during which each song was performed.
The show was filmed and released as a 78-minute VHS in 1994, though the show's acts continued to change significantly after it was filmed.
In 2012, just before the show's retirement, a behind-the-scenes documentary was filmed, titled Saltimbanco Forever 20 (directed by Eric Chaussé; director of photography: Miguel Henriques; editor: Julie Bouffard). This documentary has thus far remained unreleased, although a short clip was leaked in October 2013. In 2014 another excerpt was leaked featuring an interview with boleadoras performer Adriana Pegueroles; another clip, about the show's music, was published in 2019.
Saltimbanco toured around the world several times during its original 14-year tour under the Grand Chapiteau. It played its final show in the Royal Albert Hall in London on 1 February 1997. Saltimbanco was revived the following year on 14 October 1998, and went on to tour the Asia-Pacific region. The show played for another nine years, becoming the first Cirque du Soleil show to tour South America, with visits to Santiago, Chile (March 2006); Buenos Aires, Argentina (May 2006); and São Paulo (August 2006) and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (October 2006). That tour's final performance took place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 10 December 2006.
Following its closure in December 2006, Saltimbanco was configured into an arena show format, and re-launched in July 2007 to commence an extensive North American tour, visiting cities and areas that Cirque du Soleil had previously been unable to visit. The tour started in London, Ontario and subsequently toured Canada and the United States. Saltimbanco's three-year tour of North America ended in Columbus, Ohio. In 2009 the show embarked on its third tour of Europe. Between 2011 and 2012, it visited over 50 cities in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, Eastern Europe, and North America.
Saltimbanco has been to many different regions, here is the list of all of them.
The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:
Europe North America South America Asia/Pacific Oceania Africa
Grand Chapiteau tour