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The ecosystem on Tour - Big top

Our shows travel and exist like mini cities and ecosystems working to support our artists so they can thrive and perform at their best.  Let's take a look at this ecosystem under a big top!

So, what exists within our mini-cities on site and what do they do?

  • Artists: Of course, our artists are at the center of Cirque’s ecosystem on tour! The goal of each tour is to perform one of our many creations, and we cannot do that without our artists and acrobats in tip-top shape.  

  • Coaches: On every show we have a head coach and artist-coaches, who work together to oversee artists and their training, work with them on new skills, improve their artistry, and support them in maintaining their performance. 

  • PMed: Two physical therapists travel with each show to mitigate injuries, as well as prevent, treat, and rehabilitate issues that affect the well-being of our artists. We also hire local massage therapists, yoga/pilates instructors.

  • Wardrobe & MakeupOur wardrobe teams travel with our shows to maintain and repair costumes, do touch-ups, aid artists with their makeup, and more! In both big tops and arena tours, local dressers are hired to help out with quick changes, laundry, and other necessary roles to keep the show functioning.

 Big top Ecosystem - blog article

  • Kitchen: Every tour has a full kitchen to support both artists as well as all members on site. They prepare meals and menus that are healthy, nutritious, and delicious while also sourcing ingredients locally.

  • Technicians: This group includes our sound department, lighting department, carps, riggers, and automation! Our shows are quite large and complex, so specialized technicians in different fields keep the show running smoothly. From our lighting team making sure the stage is lit properly for each scene, to the rigging team ensuring the acrobatic and aerial equipment is safe and ready to use, and the automation team working all of the movements both acrobatic and set-piece, every technician and their role is an important part of the Cirque Ecosystem on tour. They work throughout each performance to help artists from behind the scenes.

  • Stage ManagementStage managers do quite a lot on our tours, from working backstage to keep artists ready for their next cue on stage (backstage manager, to working from the front to call every cue in the entire show (general stage manager), to creating the weekly training/ rehearsal schedules. Stage managers are like orchestra conductors for each of our shows.

  • Publicist: Our publicists on tour are in charge of promoting the show in the cities they're travelling to. That means organizing the premiere, VIP visits, press conferences, interviews and any promoting events that might help spread the news before or while the show is in a town.


Big top ecosystem 2 - blog article

  • Artistic Directors: Each show has an artistic director that travels with the show to ensure that it stays alive and with the same essence it was initially created. Their role is to maintain the show’s artistic quality and stay in contact with our international headquarters in Montreal. 

  • Tour Management: The tour management department for each tour works to organize where everyone on tour will stay in each city (apartments and hotels), deal with accounting as well as immigration, organize everyone’s transportation, ensure the IT and technical needs are working properly, and much much more! In a sense, tour management is the backbone that keeps a tour functioning, so that the rest of the teams can focus on the actual show itself. 

  • Security: Our security works to ensure the safety of the site and everyone inside of it. For our big tops, we often build our tent in parking lots and other spaces, so security helps transform those spaces into safe spaces for everyone. Our head of security travels with the tour, and we always hire an agency/team locally.

  • Site and Guest Experience Teams: Lastly on big top tours, you can find the Guest Experience team and the Site team, making sure the public is taking care of. From setting up and maintaining our site beautiful to making sure the food, drink and souvenir concessions are offering quality products.


There you have it! A little dive into how our tours operate to support our artists. 


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Photos by: Mitch Wynter, Silvia Dopazo, Luana Ouverney, the Casting Team