Sunday, May 10, 2009

About Cirque du Soleil, the Guinness Book of World Records & a lot of Stilts

cirquedusoleil-logo2Well, the post title is actually very descriptive. This post is about Cirque du Soleil. Adding stilts to the mix should also not be surprising, considering that Cirque du Soleil was founded back in 1984 by a troupe of Stilts Walkers, dubbed the “High Heels Club”. You can now guess What Cirque du Soleil and stilts have to do with the Guinness Book of World Records. Na?  C’mon!   

Okay, I don’t want anybody to die stupid, without knowing the following facts hehe.

Background Information

On June 16, 2004 Cirque du Soleil set a new record for the Guinness Book of World Records when they gathered 544 employees in the Montreal Headquarters and had them stilts walking at the same place, at the same time.

guinness_world_records2004544 folks on stilts is a lot, however, the record only lasted about 2 years, until 2006, when this record was being taken away from Cirque by a group of Japanese folks, who in turn lost their record also in 2008 to 625 youth from Ontario. gilles_and_guy_stilts2009

So 625 stilts walkers is now the official record and Cirque thought that things are somehow not right. 

2009 marks the 25th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil and they thought that they will be damned, if they will not be able to reclaim the record for them (for pride, honor and as a birthday gift for themselves).

The Upcoming New World Record Attempt

On June 16, 2009, five years after the original record was set, Cirque du Soleil is going to attempt to reclaim their record and will try to have more than 625 stilts walkers, made up of Cirque du Soleil employees from all over the world, walking on their stilts on that day.

guiness w rec 2009In preparation for the employees and to announce to the rest of the world that it would not be Cirque du Soleil, if they would simply watch somebody taking this (for Cirque) important record and be living with it; Management created a casual video and published it on video sharing sites, such as YouTube.

The video explains the record attempt, how the hundreds of stilts are custom manufactured, decoration tips to personalize each set of stilts and a brief 101 on Stilt Walking, including the does and don’ts. 

I added to the original video released by Cirque du Soleil a short slideshow at the end with additional photographs from the original world record attempt on June 16, 2004. I also added the Guinness Book image at the beginning of the video :).

I wish them luck with this attempt and hope that they will re-“capture the flag".  

Here are some of the images from the 2004 World Record event in Montreal, Canada. Click on the thumbnail of the image to open the enlarged version of it. record June 16, 2004-ligne_chapiteau record June 16, 2004-ligne_chapiteau2 record June 16, 2004-personnages record June 16, 2004-danger record June 16, 2004-stecroix_devant record June 16, 2004-stecroix_megavox

For more stuff about Cirque du Soleil, check out my Cirque du Soleil Primer article and my YouTube channel CirqueDuSoleilGuru.

p.s. I hope you enjoyed the caricature that I made for the occasion :)


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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