Rethinking the Circus – The New York Times

Rethinking the Circus - The New York Times

The thought of Cirque du Soleil may invoke images of extravagant live shows with clowns, acrobats and fire-breathers. The company is trying to change that.

Cirque du Soleil came out of the pandemic in tough shape. So it decided to build a more expansive, disaster-proof brand — one that aims to sell not only shows but also sunglasses, perfume and video games, as my colleague Emma Goldberg wrote in a story documenting its transformation.

Emma told me, “The circus is a funny example of an attempt at cultural reinvention because I don’t even think of the circus as trying to be relevant.” “The question they were asking was, ‘Why isn’t Gen Z interested in the circus?’ It almost sounds rhetorical. That’s because 5-year-olds are in the circus.

The decision came after months of meetings with advisers. Because they were talking about the circus rather than banking, people left out phrases such as, “I think there’s a real opportunity to elevate the art of the clown” and “Don’t focus on the circus, focus on Soleil.”

Nevertheless, the meetings succeeded in giving Cirque du Soleil a comprehensive plan to transform itself. This week the company will release a video game on the popular gaming platform Roblox. It organized a show last month to introduce a new phone for Motorola. It’s working on home furnishings (think psychedelic curtains) and a television documentary series (current title: “Down with the Clowns”).

“They’re saying: ‘Forget the circus. Forget the red-nosed clowns and the big tent and the popcorn. Think of it as an artistic statement,'” Emma said. “And they’re trying to put it into selling consumer products.”

Read Emma’s full story, including more dazzling photos of the Cirque du Soleil performance, to see how the transformations are panning out.

  • Benjamin Netanyahu had an unplanned procedure to implant a pacemaker into his heart. Doctors later said that the Israeli prime minister was “doing very well.”

  • Netanyahu was expected to remain in hospital for at least a day, raising uncertainty over his government’s deeply controversial plan to pass a law tomorrow to limit judicial power.

  • A mile-long convoy of protesters marched through Jerusalem to protest the proposal. Follow our updates.

  • In Spain’s elections today, mainstream conservatives may come out on top, but they will most likely need hard-right allies to govern.

  • Mismanagement and US sanctions have devastated Venezuela’s oil industry, leaving behind leaky pipelines and polluted neighborhoods.

  • Belarus leader Aleksandr Lukashenko has cracked down on dissent since cracking down on the protests three years ago.

  • Witnesses said a man who was kicked out of a bar in Mexico because he was harassing women later returned and threw a firebomb at the club, killing at least 11 people.

Algorithms on social media are depriving youth of the joys of exploration and discovery, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy argues.

Many men struggle with making new friends. One way to beat this loneliness: go play pickleball, Michelle Cottle They say.

Smartphone apps and QR codes were about to make travel easier. Instead, they’ve made it more annoying, jessica gross writes.

Sunday’s Question: Should No Labels Run for President?

The group is effectively a surrogate for Trump because it can sway voters who aren’t enthusiastic about Biden, David Faris writes in Newsweek, But Democrats Are So Strongly Making The Case Against A Third-Party Candidate They can shield Biden from its effectsAaron Blake writes in The Washington Post.

Magical Creatures: Fantastic, adorable animated movies from Studio Ghibli, theme-park-style.

Hollywood’s Secret Weapon: Ann Roth is the costume designer behind the iconic looks in “Midnight Cowboy,” “Working Girl” and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Wheel of Fortune: Cheese is part of Switzerland’s identity. So why is it importing more than exporting?

Pledge: She dreamed of finding love at Whole Foods, but she discovered it on Twitter.

Life lived: Richard Barancic was the last surviving member of the Allied unit known as the Monument Men and Women, which preserved European artifacts and cultural treasures looted by Nazi Germany. He died at the age of 98.

Joyce Carol Oates, one of America’s greatest living authors, is the author of the new short-story collection “Zero-Sum.” I talked to Oates, who is 85, about the legacies we’ve left behind.

There’s a line in your book “On Boxing” about how, for fighters, life is about fighting and the rest is just waiting. Do you feel the same way about writing?

This is a good question. It points to a philosophical issue of what is essential in our lives and what is existential or contingent. My husband was a professor and we talked about books all the time. Although we talked for years, I don’t really remember that conversation. All that is left with me from all that happiness is my writings of that time. This is a devastating fact. Everything you think of as solid is actually fleeting and transitory.

does it give you any Is it comforting to know that at least you have the books you wrote during that happy hour?

I guess there is some consolation in this; Otherwise, all things will be destroyed. If you read Ovid’s “Metamorphoses,” Ovid writes about how, if you’re reading this, I’m immortal. You see that theme in Shakespeare’s sonnets: You’re reading this, therefore I’m still alive. In fact, they are not alive, they are gone. But when he was alive, he had that extra dimension to his life. That’s nothing.

So having a bunch of work to leave behind makes your life feel better when things are gone?

I don’t know how to answer this. We start losing people. it’s the human experience, and you suddenly realize it’s about to be the human experience Yours Experience. When this happens to you, it is quite surprising.

Read more about the interview here,

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Times Best Seller: “Beyond the Story,” an oral history of K-pop group BTS, debuted at the top of the hardcover nonfiction list.

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  • Apart from Spain, elections are also being held in Cambodia today.

  • Israel’s parliament was expected to vote tomorrow on a divisive proposal to overhaul its judiciary, although Netanyahu’s hospitalization could alter that plan.

  • The Federal Reserve is expected to raise interest rates on Wednesday.

  • Hunter Biden, the president’s son, is to be indicted on Wednesday for tax-related misdemeanors.

  • President Biden will host Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the White House on Thursday.

  • Iowa’s Republican Party will hold its own Lincoln dinner on Friday. Trump, DeSantis, Scott and other candidates have a speaking schedule.

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