Cirque du Soleil experiments with mixed reality to test creative show ideas

In a world of rapid digital transformation, the entertainment industry is constantly looking for ways to revolutionize and stand out, and Montreal’s iconic Cirque du Soleil is no exception.

The 33-year-old circus arts performance company announced during Microsoft Corp.’s Build 2017 conference that it was partnering with the tech giant to explore the use of mixed reality in its creative process.

Amid its efforts to retain its status as one of the largest producers of live entertainment in the world, Cirque is testing the use of HoloLens technology for during show creation.

To demonstrate the technology’s “infinite possibilities,” during Microsoft Build Cirque representatives recreated the whole stage of Kurios touring production – which includes a giant mechanical hand – before virtually inviting artists to perform in front of the crowd.

You can watch the eight minute presentation below, courtesy of Cirque du Soleil and Microsoft.

“We can create a holographic life size stage and use a trial and error approach to test our ideas before having to produce masts, lighting bridges, set elements, or acrobatic installations for real,” Cirque explained in a May 11 press release.

“Our creators can also visualize the same hologram, at the same time, regardless of where they are in the world, rather than coming to our creation studio in Montreal to take part in the creation process. They could move, add, remove or modify objects in the mixed reality while edits would be seen simultaneously by other users.”

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Mandy Kovacs
Mandy Kovacs
Mandy is a lineup editor at CTV News. A former staffer at IT World Canada, she's now contributing as a part-time podcast host on Hashtag Trending. She is a Carleton University journalism graduate with extensive experience in the B2B market. When not writing about tech, you can find her active on Twitter following political news and sports, and preparing for her future as a cat lady.

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