1993 – 1997
November 1991: a group of young people from the Magdalen Islands, with Jeannot Painchaud as their ringleader, create a show for the 10th anniversary of the Islands’ community radio station. Cirque Éloize is born. The seven performers, Jeannot Painchaud, Daniel Cyr, Jeannot Chiasson, Robert Bourgeois, Damien Boudreau, Sylvette Boudreau and Alain Boudreau are all students at the École nationale de cirque (then located at Dalhousie Station, the company’s current head office).
January 1992: the trio of Jeannot Chiasson, Alain Boudreau and Damien Boudreau present their island act, and Jeannot Painchaud performs his acrobatic cycling act at the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris. They are respectively awarded the silver and bronze medals.
August 11, 1993: a legendary date – determined to turn their dream into reality, the troupe reunites during the night of the Perseid meteor shower. The two performances are forever etched in the memories of the people of the Magdalen Islands.
Autumn 1993: Incorporation of the company. Cirque Éloize is founded by Jeannot Painchaud, Daniel Cyr and Claudette Morin.
Three versions of the eponymous show are created between 1991 and 1994. The first two versions are presented as part of a collective project. Every artist is involved in the creative process, under the direction of Jeannot Painchaud and choreographer Catherine Archambault. Pierre Boileau joins the team to direct the third version of the show, leading the troupe to its breakthrough on the U.S. scene. The inauguration of the New Victory Theater on 42nd Street and Broadway, followed by a three-week run, launched the beginning of a journey that still continues today in venues around the world.
This debut eponymous show is marked by the need to tear down borders, to gain proximity with the audience and to showcase the artists’ multidisciplinary talents. The show was designed to be performed on a proscenium stage, rather than in a traditional circus ring. The desire to work with other art forms was and still is a rich source of inspiration, and the years to come will continue to strengthen this approach.
We would like to thank the National Circus School and Claudette Morin for their precious collaboration.