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Cirque du Soleil, MGM Mirage Form Partnership

Cirque du Soleil and MGM Mirage have entered into a partnership to present two new "hybrid" projects in Las Vegas – one at New York-New York and one at MGM Grand, set to premiere in Las Vegas in 2003 and 2004, respectively. These new shows will play alongside Cirque du Soleil's two shows that are already playing – Mystere at Treasure Island and "O" at the Bellagio hotel. They will also explore new ventures worldwide.

"This partnership is built on the mutual success achieved by our two businesses throughout the past decade," said J. Terrence Lanni, chairman of the board/CEO of MGM Mirage. "Cirque du Soleil proved that it had an excellent understanding of Las Vegas by fundamentally changing the form of entertainment here with their groundbreaking artistic vision first with Mystere and then with 'O'. Now we want to work together to explore new areas in which they can continue to cultivate their unique creativity not only in Las Vegas but throughout our projects in the U.S. and around the world."

"Guy Laliberte, president/CEO and founder of Cirque du Soleil, added, "MGM Mirage has an excellent grasp of the creative strengths and energy that drive Cirque du Soleil. We have always held fast to our dream of reinventing other forms of entertainment. Terry Lanni and his team have confidence in us and are assisting us to do so. We have set out to stimulate the imagination, fire the senses and touch the emotions of spectators around the world.

"The potential of Las Vegas is still vast," he continued. "Some 36 million people visit the city each year and we believe there is room for continued growth to encourage them to take the opportunity to see shows as part of their Las Vegas experience."

"Whatever the creative niche we're developing may be, we are committed to maintaining the level of quality and creativity associated with the Cirque du Soleil brand," offered Lyn Heward, president/CEO of the Creative Content Division. "Cirque du Soleil has always put creativity at the heart of all production and management activities. Creativity is the very essence of Cirque. "

The New York-New York project, opening next year, will take a new look at traditional music hall shows. Sensual, exotic and provocative, the show will feature a blend of dance, humor and acrobatics. It is being developed under the leadership of French Director Philippe Decoufle and Director of Creation Andrew Watson.

"Each of the scenes in this show promises a high-caliber sensual and artistic experience," explains Heward. The theater of the New York-New York hotel will be rebuilt to house the show in 2003.

The second project at the MGM Grand, opening in 2004, "will shake the spectator's perception of space, conception of the law of gravity, and comprehension of the world in three dimensions." Robert Lepage, a key figure in Canadian theater, will direct the show, Guy Caron will serve as Director of Creation. "We hope to offer spectators an experience that's larger than life," says Heward.

This year Cirque du Soleil is simultaneously presenting, on tour in North America: Varekai, Dralion, Quidam and Alegria; on tour in Europe: Saltimbanco; at Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando: La Nouba; at Treasure Island in Las Vegas: Mystere; and at Bellagio in Las Vegas: "O".