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This article is about the Cirque du Soleil production. For Polish progressive rock group, see Quidam (band).
Quidam logo
Company Cirque du Soleil
Genre Contemporary circus
Show type Touring production
Date of premiere April 23, 1996 (Montreal)
Final show Spring 2016
Creative team
Writer and director Franco Dragone
Director of creation Gilles Ste-Croix
Senior artistic director Richard Dagenais
Artistic director Fabrice Lemire
Composer Benoît Jutras
Costume designer Dominique Lemieux
Set designer Michel Crête
Lighting designer Luc Lafortune
Choreographer Debra Brown
Sound designer François Bergeron
Make-up designer Nathalie Gagné
Artistic guide Guy Laliberté
Other information
Preceded by Alegría (1994)
Succeeded by O (1998)
Official website

Quidam (/kˈdɑːm/ kee-DAHM) is the ninth stage show produced by Cirque du Soleil. It premiered in April 1996 and has been watched by millions of spectators around the world.[1] Quidam originated as a big-top show in Montreal and was converted into an arena format beginning with its 2010 tour in North America.[2]

The entire show is imagined by a bored girl named Zoé who is alienated and ignored by her parents. She dreams up the whimsical world of Quidam as a means of escaping the monotony of her life.[1]

The show's title refers to the feature character, a man without a head, carrying an umbrella and a bowler hat. Quidam is said to be the embodiment of both everyone and no one at the same time. According to Cirque du Soleil literature "Quidam: a nameless passer-by, a solitary figure lingering on a street corner, a person rushing past. ... One who cries out, sings and dreams within us all."[1]


Quidam has won awards for some of its acts throughout its production history.

  • Banquine, 1999 Golden Clown at the International Monte Carlo Circus Festival.[3]
  • Diabolos, 1995 Gold Medal at Festival du Cirque de Demain[3]

Set and technical information[edit]

The minimalistic stage was designed by Michel Crête to represent a monolithic structure such as an airport or train station where people are always coming to and from. The major set element includes the five, all-aluminum, 120-foot (36.57-meter) arches above the stage, known as the téléphérique. These allow performers to be transported onto and off the stage from above. Each rail of the téléphérique has two trolleys: one to raise and lower the performer or equipment, and the second to transport it onto or off the stage.

The stage floor is made of aluminum decks with a perforated, rubber-type mat. The perforations, of which there are over 200,000, allow light to pass through from below the stage, creating visual effects.[1]


The cast of Quidam has over 50 acrobats, musicians, singers, and characters, some of which are detailed below.[1][4][5]

  • Zoé: She is the principal character in Quidam. Although average in nature, she longs for excitement.
  • Father: Completely, though unwittingly, self-absorbed. His white shoes are the only indication of a hidden personality.
  • Mother: Conveys an air of absence and alienation. Inside her lie fear, frustration, and desire.
  • Quidam: The show's titular character, who is anonymous, everyone, and no one. He may have stepped out of a surrealist painting or been conjured up out of Zoé's imagination.
  • John: Part game-show host and part substitute teacher who is the guide through the world of Quidam. Also is represented as a father figure to Zoé hence him stepping into her father's shoes.
  • Target: A living human bullseye fired at by everyone but is always smiling.
  • Chiennes Blanches: The silent chorus, the nameless and the faceless, the dehumanized, mechanical crowd, simultaneously leading and following. They also accompany the principal characters as they make their entrances and exits.
  • Boum-Boum: Enjoys screaming at the audience and walking away proudly, but will run away if an audience member screams back.
  • Rabbit: A minor character who chases and gets chased by other characters.
  • Aviator: A character who has skeletal wings who looks like he is not ready to take off.
  • Les Égarés: Lost individuals who gather together in the streets and abandoned buildings of Quidam. They perform in the banquine act.


Quidam combines a mix of acrobatic skills and traditional circus acts:[1][3][6]

  • German Wheel: An acrobat performs tricks within a German wheel.
  • Diabolo: A performer manipulates diabolos (i.e., Chinese yo-yo), which are two sticks linked by a string on which a wooden spool balances.
  • Aerial contortion in silk: Intensity, power and grace combine when a young woman becomes one with the column of red fabric which supports and cradles her.
  • Skipping ropes: Drawing inspiration from dance, acrobatics, and the art of manipulation, a group of 20 acrobats performs this familiar child's game in a steady stream of solo, duo, and group jumps and figures.
  • Aerial hoops: Two performers use hoops attached to the ceiling to perform tricks.
  • Handbalancing: Using strength and balance, a performer contorts into poses while on balancing canes.
  • Spanish webs: Artists fly over the stage, attached to trolleys on the overhead tracks. In turn or as a group, they occasionally perform a sudden drop, stopped only by the ropes looped around their waists or ankles.
  • Statue: Never losing contact, two strong, flexible performers move almost imperceptibly, assuming positions impossible without an impeccable sense of balance.
  • Banquine: An Italian acrobatic tradition going back to the Middle Ages that combines gymnastics and ballet. Showcasing the agility of the human body, up to 15 artists perform sequences of feats and human pyramids with their perfectly synchronized movements.

Acts in rotation[edit]

  • Juggling: Up to five balls fly through the air, with additional manipulation of a briefcase, umbrella, and bowler hat.

Retired acts[edit]

  • Cyr Wheel: An acrobat performs tricks within a large metal ring.
  • Manipulation: Three performers used warped metal sheets to juggle and manipulate a red ball that they each had; later in the act they got rid of the metal sheet and juggled the red balls as well as many other red balls and a bowler hat each.
  • Aerial straps: Two artists grasped cords that dangled from the overhead rails, sometimes they performed on the ground, sometimes in the air.
  • Hoops: A sensational routine that involved up to 20 spinning hoops that a seductive performer manipulated all over her body; it combined the agility and skill of a gymnast with the flexibility of a contortionist, the dexterity of a juggler, and the grace of a ballerina.
  • Cloud swing: A unique combination of trapeze and Spanish web techniques were combined. This act was dropped out of the show in 2012 due to issues with finance. After it got dropped, single trapeze replaced the act temporarily and then cloud swing returned to the show from 2012 from 2013.
  • Single trapeze: A performer does tricks on a trapeze. This act was a temporary replacement of the cloud swing act after it got dropped out.


Quidam's costume designer, Dominique Lemieux, drew inspiration from Surrealist art, particularly the works of René Magritte and Paul Delvaux. The costumes convey the alienation of the characters and represent an urban landscape through the use of painted textures and fabrics. The dominant color is grey but is supplemented by deep, rich, warm colors and embellished with metals. Quidam was the first Cirque du Soleil show to use everyday clothing for the outfits, although those in the acrobatic acts are modified. The fabric chosen for Quidam is primarily stretch linen, but also includes leather, jute, linen crepe, wool, velvet and 42 types of cotton.[7]

Quidam has approximately 250 costumes, 500 costume accessories, and 200-300 shoes: Each artist has anywhere from 2 to 7 costumes, of which there are at least 2 spares. The costumes, although washed every day, can last anywhere from 6 months to 2 years.[1]


Quidam’s music was composed by Benoît Jutras and has been released in three album editions featuring additional songs, alternative new cover designs, and higher quality sounds. The first CD was released on January 14, 1997. (ASIN B000003G5M) The album features the voices of Audrey Brisson-Jutras and Mathieu Lavoie, with the exception of two bonus tracks sung by Brisson-Jutras and Richard Price on the extended CD released in 2001 (recorded live in Amsterdam, 1999).[8]

Below is a list of tracks as featured on the original 1997 release, alongside each of which is listed the act that the track accompanies. The two tracks on the 2001 extended album are also included at the end: Mìsere and Enfant d'Acier.[8]

  1. Atmadja (Opening)
  2. Incantation (German wheel)
  3. Marelle (Interlude)
  4. Rivage
    • Manipulation (1996–1998)
    • Juggling (1999–2004, 2006 onward)
  5. Zydeko (Skipping ropes)
  6. Let Me Fall (Aerial contortion in silk)
  7. Innocence (Skipping ropes)
  8. Carrousel
    • Clown act
    • Transition out of Diabolos
    • Transition out of Aerial hoops
  9. Steel Dream
    • Handbalancing (1996–1998)
    • Aerial straps (2004–2005)
  10. Seisouso
    • Aerial hoops
    • Cloud swing
  11. Réveil (Statues)
  12. Quidam (Finale)
  13. Misère (Banquine)
  14. Enfants d'Acier (Diabolos)
Further information: Cirque du Soleil discography


Quidam started as a Grand Chapiteau touring show before being fully converted to an arena touring show in 2010.[2] For a short time in 2009, Quidam toured the UK and IE in arena format before switching back to Grand Chapiteau when it went to South America.

Cirque du Soleil started using a customized tour bus as a method of helping to advertise Quidam during its tour in northeastern North America during the fall of 2011. During the shows stops in cities, the tour bus makes appearances at local merchants, allowing people to meet part of the crew.[9]

The following colorboxes indicate the region of each performance:
  EU   Europe   NA   North America   SA   South and Central Americas   AP   Asia/Pacific   OC   Oceania

Arena tour[edit]

2015 schedule[edit]

  •   EU   Santa Cruz de Tenerife, ES - From 3 Jan 2015 to 11 Jan 2015
  •   EU   Bucharest, RO - From 29 Jan to 1 Feb 2015
  •   EU   Bratislava, SK - From 5 Feb to 8 Feb 2015
  •   EU   Budapest, HU - From 13 Feb to 15 Feb 2015
  •   EU   Copenhagen, DK - From 18 Feb to 22 Feb 2015
  •   EU   Rotterdam, NL - From 27 Feb to 1 Mar 2015
  •   EU   Oslo, NO - From 5 Mar to 7 Mar 2015
  •   EU   Helsinki, FI - From 11 Mar to 15 Mar 2015
  •   EU   Vilnius, LT -'From 19 Mar to 22 Mar 2015
  •   EU   Minsk, BY - From 26 Mar to 29 Mar 2015
  •   EU   Moscow, RU - From 16 April to 26 April 2015
  •   EU   St-Petersburg, RU - From 29 2015 to 04 May 2015
  •   EU   Linkoping, SE - From 08 May to 10 May 2015
  •   EU   Gothenburg, SE - From 13 May to 16 May 2015
  •   EU   Turku,FI- From 22 May to 25 May 2015
  •   EU   Tallin, EE- From 27 May to 30 May 2015
  •   EU   Stockholm, SW- From 3 June to 6 June 2015
  •   AP   Tel Aviv, IL - From 2 Jul to 16 Jul 2015

Grand Chapiteau tour[edit]

1996 schedule[edit]

  •   NA   Montréal, QC – From 23 Apr to 23 Jun 1996 (show première)
  •   NA   Ste-Foy, QC – From 4 Jul to 28 Jul 1996
  •   NA   Toronto, ON – From 8 Aug 1996 to 8 Sept 1996
  •   NA   Santa Monica, CA – From 25 Sep 1996 to 21 Dec 1996

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Quidam Press Kit". Cirque du Soleil (Press Kit). Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Quidam performers adapt to the arena". Montréal Gazette. 2010-12-11. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Quidam Acts". Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Quidam Characters". Cirque du Soleil (Press Material). Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  5. ^ "About Debra Brown". debralynnbrown.com. Retrieved 2011-03-05. 
  6. ^ "Quidam Acts". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  7. ^ Clément, Ronald (2009). Cirque du Soleil 25 Years of Costumes (in CN, EN, FR, JP). Canada: Dépôt légal, Bibliothèque et Archives Canada. pp. 40–45. ISBN 978-2-9803493-4-8. 
  8. ^ a b "Music – Quidam". Cirque Tribune. Retrieved 2011-03-24. 
  9. ^ "Quidam Road Trip". Cirque du Soleil. Retrieved 2011-12-19. 

External links[edit]