Inglewood-based circus troupe, Le Petit Cirque, was on the verge of becoming the next Cirque Du Soleil. But when the pandemic hit, the troupe saw its entire slate of performances, over 20 shows all over the world, disappear right before their eyes.
Determined not to lose their space, the troupe did everything imaginable to keep the magic alive.
Even though Le Petit Cirque is known for their memorable performances, they also give back to charity.
"Le Petit Cirque is a family entertainment production company that caters to clients all over the world. It is a junior version of Cirque Du Soleil in a way; we have been headliners at the Nobel Peace Prize concert, and we have performed privately for the Dalai Llama. We are also one of the only humanitarian companies in the world, so we have helped raise $6.3 million in the past nine years. We do anywhere from 40 to 80 shows a year," Founder Nathalie Yves Gaulthier said.
Before the pandemic, Le Petit Cirque booked their first tour, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed that significant milestone.
"There were some really touch and go times. I did a GoFundMe the day after the pandemic was announced, and that covered maybe one month. I applied for every loan and was turned down everywhere because we do not have W-2 employees. I went through all of my savings so I could keep this place alive," Gaulthier added.
Although the pandemic brought many tough moments for Le Petit Cirque, Gaulthier said they were still able to surpass those challenging times.
"I called a lot of our agents up, and we ended up booking 17 shows during the pandemic. So, we got to stay open because we got treated like a film set. We had all of our artists tested constantly, everyone wore a mask, and everyone was six feet apart," Gaulthier said.
Thanks to their efforts and safety measures, Le Petit Cirque got to perform in various pandemic shows.
"We did concerts in your car, and that is with our new production partner, Right Angle Entertainment. The concerts in your car was so successful that it got picked up for a U.S. national tour this December coming up. It all paid off so much. This next year, we are booked and have so many exciting things happening," Gaulthier said.
Performer Lila Woodward said she is excited to travel with her teammates in the upcoming tour.
"We have not been able to travel in over a year, and that is one of the main joys of Le Petit Cirque — we get to go to so many different places," she said. "I look forward to performing and making people happy while raising money for different charitable causes. I am excited to get back on a plane when the time comes and see the world like I used to be able to do."
The group is currently gearing up for its U.S. tour and a run in Dubai. The troupe is also enrolling gifted young artists for its camp in August.
Applications and more information can be found at lestudiola.com.
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