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Cirque du Soleil: The Spark - Igniting the Creative Fire that Lives within Us All Hardcover – April 11, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
For anyone who has ever marveled at the creativity, athleticism and magic of Cirque du Soleil, this book is a jewel that explores the showmanship, challenges and philosophies that have made Cirque an international sensation. Using a fictional narrative, Heward (former president and COO of Cirque's creative content division) and journalist Bacon follow a sports agent named Frank as he seeks the drive and enthusiasm that have faded from his career. Through a chance encounter while in Las Vegas, Frank sees a Cirque du Soleil performance and is enchanted. Before long Frank takes a leave of absence from his job and starts training with Cirque athletes in Montreal while giving the reader a behind-the-scenes look at how the Cirque sensation is created and the underlying philosophy. He gleans lessons on the value of working for a common goal, creating a meaningful experience for customers, using failure as a learning tool and how to reinvent oneself to find life's true path. While the scenarios that Frank encounters often seem too convenient, the book is captivating and offers important lessons that can be applied to many aspects of modern life. (Apr.)
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"An inspiring tale about the power of creativity and the imagination, from Cirque du Soleil, the amazing troupe of performers that “makes nearly every other form of entertainment seem timid, sullen, earthbound.”
–Time --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
If you're new to the One Minute Manager mindset and offerings, this book might be good for you. If you're just starting off in the creative career, sure...get your literary clown makeup on. Other than that, don't bother.
This is what I get for listening to a podcast recommendation.
Written as a parable, The Spark is focused on the use of innovation, and how being innovative allows individuals and companies the opportunity to move beyond the accepted norm, to ultimate reach levels of greatness. It also illustrates the importance of having passion in your business, and in your personal life. Without passion, you are destined to walk through your daily life wondering where the meaning is in whatever it is you do.
This is the third book in a row that I read that deals with innovation, passion, and thinking beyond the norm. I find these books enjoyable, and this one like the others did truly create a spark leading to some imaginative thinking. I can't say it is the best-written book I have ever read, but I do recommend it. It is a quick read, and you will definitely feel inspired after completing the book.
There is another book out there that explores one man's experiences with one performer and it is also intriquing but this new book reveals more about a wider variety of artists, directors, designers, etc.
And, for all those who've watched and been entranced by a Cirque du Soleil performance...wouldn't we all like to create a little of that magic in our lives? Wouldn't we all like to ignite our own creative fires, even if they come out in different ways, perhaps in writing, perhaps in our work lives or the time we spend with our families or while alone.
One of the main lessons I got from this book is that being fully open as possible to one's imagination, hopes, dreams and aspirations can lead in wondrous directions and affect even the most "practical" or mundane tasks of life. It just takes the willingness to take the risk, to accept failure and setbacks in return for spiritual and emotional growth and lifechanging experiences.
This is more than a book geared to artists and peformers. It truly is for the rest of us. It can change your life.
Having said that, I found myself wanting more, felt myself not quite fully satisfied by this book. I felt some of the sections were a little too pat or formulaic. But these are minor quibbles when the book offers so much and is one of the few books that really explores the Cirque du Soleil creative process. Until a better one comes along, I'd consider this a MUST for anyone wanting to know more about the secrets and techniques of the Cirque du Soleil "spark", a spark that can affect us all.