One of the IT News stories that I highlighted today in the IT News Digest newsletter was about the computers behind the scenes at the new Cirque du Soleil show, "Corteo": "The tech inside Cirque's big tent." I've always loved the circus, even after I had a child and they became a huge money-siphoning event. In fact, up until this article, I've managed to view the circus with kid's eyes... daring trapeze artists, dancing elephants, ridiculous clowns, and acrobatic lions - plus snow cones, cotton candy, popcorn, and glow in the dark swords. Well, now that's all ruined for me, but it was probably time I grew up and noticed the thick cable wires plastered around the floor of the 3 rings, the lights hanging precariously from the ceiling, and the technology behind the scenes that truly helps make the enchanted circus experience.
Michael Wilder, the technical director on "Corteo," claims that "What makes 'Corteo' the most advanced (show) is that we've taken pieces of technology from this show and that show and put it together in one show." Perhaps more difficult than simultaneously riding a unicycle and juggling, these shows have to keep pace with the constant advances in technology: "As the technology used in 'Corteo' and other Cirque show gets more advanced, and more is implemented, Wilder and his crew, as well as their colleagues in other shows, must continually confront a learning curve as they strive to stay as advanced as possible."
Take a look at the fairy dust behind the circus scenes in this photo gallery: "Backstage at Cirque du Soleil."
Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.