History and mission
In 2011, the co-founder of Cirque Du Soleil y Creative Director, Gilles Ste-Croix and his wife Monique Voyer gave light to the creation of a show with the children of the community center “Entreamigos” in San Francisco Nayarit with the intention to fundraise for its programs. This was made possible with the support of Circo del Mundo de Cirque du Soleil who donated the equipment training equipment, friends and international artists who came from Canada, the company Cirrus Cirkus as well as over 100 local volunteers. In March 2011, the first performance of Circo de los Niños was “Cuando aún no existían los sueños”.
As a result of this first creation of the project, Gilles Ste-Croix and Monique Voyer expanded their support for Circo de los Niños as a Circo Social project offering continued training to the children originally involved. This first impulse grew to become what is now the Circus Arts school, called Circo de los Niños de San Pancho.
In the spring of 2014, as a result of 24 months of training and intence focus, a new 90 minutes production titled “ORALE” was created and presented for a larger public. Sponsored and directed by its founders with the continued support of donated training and production equipment from Cirque du Solei and Solotech, the colaborations of Circo de los Niños united more than 100 local volunteers and families of the participants. In this presentation, which took place in the town´s Plaza del Sol with over 800 audience members, the 60 young students were the stars of the night. Thereafter, the show was invited to present at the Mayan Palace in Puerto Vallarta which helped once again to raise money for “Entre Amigos”.
Performing in “Orale” gave the students the opportunity to closely experience the creative and technical process of a prodution, including direction, choreography, design and technical aspects . A unique and valuable experience for many, especially for this town and its community who continue to be inspired and be invested in the arts for the community.
In the summer of 2014, the project solicited permission from Nayarit Government to use one of the previously abandoned warehouses in the town. Since the original location inside “Entreamigos” in 2011, the program has outgrown its space. After receiving permission from the state and a basic remodel of an old agro-industrial warehouse, the new Bodega Circo became the home of Circo de los Niños de San Pancho in 2014. New instructors native to Mexico came to join the team and the program was redesigned and implemented. In the first cycle at the new space, the program enrolled 67 students. Again, thanks to the generous donation of Gilles St. Croix, Monique Voyer and private donors who made this transition possible.
Once inside its new space, the program completed its first two cycles with a new production “Dar a Luz” which was created and performed within the same space. The new production “Give Light” tells the history of the project- the birth of an idea which for years was a dream and in our new space has materialized to reality! This show included over 70 young artists participating in the training and creative process.
Currently, more than 140 children are enrolled in Circo de los Niños programs. Recently, the new Bodega Danza (adjacent to the Circo class space) was inaugurated as yet another performance and training space offered to the local and visiting community. Apart from obtaining space for its school, Circo de los Niños operates a cultural center, open to proposals from individual performers and groups with interest in participating in the project.
Encourage the holistic development of youth and young adults by improving their artistic, creative, motor and communication skills, as well as strengthening their confidence in taking risks in a secure and safe environment. Circo de los Niños de San Pancho offers a quality program in Circus Arts instruction focused on empowerment at the human level.
Circo de los Niños aspires to be an artistic, mulitidisciplinary and sustainable organization and venue within the Banderas Bay region which offers quality cultural experiences for those participating in its program as well as the general public attending its shows and events.