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Cirque du Soleil stellt Pressemappen mit Informationen zu den verschiedenen Shows und über das Unternehmen zur Verfügung.

TOTEM

TOTEM verfolgt die Entwicklung des Menschen von unseren amphibischen Ursprüngen bis hin zum neuzeitlichen Traum vom Fliegen. Die Bühne, auf der sich die Evolution der Charaktere vollzieht, erinnert an eine riesige Schildkröte – in vielen alten Kulturen Symbol für den Ursprung des Lebens.

TOTEM stellt die Evolution der Arten durch visuelle und akrobatische Arrangements dar und lässt sich dabei von verschiedenen Mythen über den Ursprung des Lebens inspirieren.

Irgendwo zwischen Wissenschaft und Legende angesiedelt, erforscht TOTEM die Bande zwischen dem Menschen und anderen Arten, seine Träume und sein schier unendliches Potenzial.

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Auf Tournee in Neuseeland, Australien

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TOTEM - Kreativteam

  • Guy Laliberté

    Gründer und Creative-Führer

    Guy Laliberté wurde 1959 in Québec City geboren. Als Akkordeonspieler, Stelzenkünstler und Feuerschlucker gründete er Québecs ersten international bekannten Zirkus und wurde dabei von einigen Kollegen unterstützt. Guy Laliberté war schon damals ein kühner Visionär. Er erkannte und förderte das Talent der Straßenkünstler, die an dem Festival Fête Foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul teilnahmen, und gründete 1984 den Cirque du Soleil.

    Guy Laliberté war Vorreiter In Sachen Verschmelzung von Kulturen sowie von künstlerischen wie akrobatischen Disziplinen. Bis heute ist dies das ganz besondere Merkmal des Cirque du Soleil. Seit 1984 unterstützt er das Kreativteam bei der Ausarbeitung der einzelnen Shows und hat dazu beigetragen, dass die Zirkusakrobatik in den Reigen der anerkannten Kunstdisziplinen aufgenommen wurde.

    Der Cirque du Soleil ist inzwischen ein globales Unternehmen, und zwar sowohl im Hinblick auf seine Zusammensetzung als auch hinsichtlich seiner Aktivitäten und seiner Bedeutung. Guy Laliberté leitet jetzt ein Unternehmen, das auf fünf Kontinenten agiert.

    Im Oktober 2007 rief Guy Laliberté eine zweite lebensfüllende Initiative ins Leben. Er gründete die ONE DROP Stiftung, die es sich zum Ziel gesetzt hat, weltweit die Armut zu bekämpfen, indem nachhaltiger Zugang zu sauberem Wasser gewährleistet wird.  Diese neue Vision basiert auf dem Wissen, dass das Recht auf Wasser für das Überleben einzelner Menschen und ganzer Gemeinschaften weltweit ausschlaggebend ist, und steht für die Werte, auf die schon die Gründung des Cirque du Soleil zurückgeht:  Die Überzeugung, dass man im Leben das bekommt, was man selbst gegeben hat, und dass selbst die kleinste Geste eine positive Veränderung bewirken kann.

    Im September 2009 bereiste Guy Laliberté als erster kanadischer Tourist den Weltraum.  Er wollte mit dieser Aktion auf die Probleme bei der Wasserversorgung der Menschheit auf der Erde aufmerksam machen. Unter dem Motto Moving Stars and Earth for Water sollte diese erste sogenannte „Poetic Social Mission“ im Weltraum die Menschen auf künstlerische Art und Weise berühren: in einer 120-minütigen Online-Übertragung mit zahlreichen künstlerischen Darbietungen in 14 Städten auf fünf Kontinenten – sogar in der internationalen Raumstation.

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    2012 wurde Guy Laliberté in die Hall of Fame der American Gaming Association aufgenommen. 2011 war er bereits in die kanadische Business Hall of Fame aufgenommen worden. 2010 erhielt Guy seinen eigenen Stern auf dem legendären Walk of Fame in Hollywood. Im selben Jahr wurde Guy von der Regierung in Québec geehrt, indem er als Mitglied des „Ordre de la Pléiade“ vom Ritter (ein Titel, der ihm sechs Jahre zuvor verliehen wurde) zum Offizier befördert wurde. 2008 verlieh die Université Laval (Québec) Guy Laliberté die Ehrendoktorwürde, und ein Jahr zuvor wurde er von Ernst & Young als Unternehmer des Jahres ausgezeichnet, und zwar auf allen drei Ebenen: Québec, Kanada und weltweit. 2004 wurde ihm vom Generalgouverneur von Kanada der „Order of Canada“, die höchste Auszeichnung des Landes, verliehen. Im selben Jahr erklärte ihn das Time Magazine zu einem der 100 einflussreichsten Menschen der Welt. 2003 wurde er vom Konzern Condé Nast im Rahmen des Programms „Never Follow“, einem Tribut an schaffende Künstler und Innovatoren, geehrt. 2001 kürte ihn die Académie des Grands Montréalais zum „Herausragenden Montrealer“. 1997 erhielt Guy Laliberté den Ordre National du Québec und somit die höchste Auszeichnung, die die Regierung von Québec überhaupt verleiht.


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    2009
    Verleihung des Lifetime Achievement Award durch die Canadian Marketing Association

    2002
    Aufnahme in den kanadischen Walk of Fame

    1998
    Verleihung des Visionary Award durch das American Craft Museum (heute Museum of Arts and Design in New York)

    1996
    Verleihung des Vision nouvelle-Awards im Rahmen der 43. Gala du Commerce (Québec)

    1988
    Persönlichkeit des Jahres, Gala Excellence, Zeitung La Presse (Québec)

    1988
    Unternehmer des Jahres, Zeitung Les Affaires (Québec)

     

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  • Gilles Ste-Croix

    Artistic Guide

    Als Gilles Ste-Croix seinen Eltern erzählte, dass er im Show-Business arbeiten möchte, sagten sie: „Alles, nur das nicht!“ Ste-Croix ist in Quebec auf dem Land aufgewachsen, war aber immer fest entschlossen, nicht dort zu bleiben. Also wurde er ein Anhänger der Hippiekultur und ein Nomade, der in Kommunen lebte und die obligatorische 60er-Pilgerreise zur Westküste machte. Dort lebte er ebenfalls in Kommunen und leitete einige Theatergruppen.

    Ste-Croix versuchte zwar, sich anzupassen und arbeitete sogar einige Zeit in einem Architekturbüro, er wusste aber immer schon, dass er für eine typische Unternehmenskarriere einfach nicht gemacht ist. Dabei verlief seine Suche nach einer beruflichen Laufbahn jedoch nie ziellos oder unklar. Er sagt, dass er schon seit der Teenager-Zeit sehr ehrgeizig war und immer schon den Drang hatte, andere zu unterhalten. Sein ungewöhnlicher Einstieg ins Show-Business kam dann dennoch sehr unerwartet.

    In den späten 70ern lebte Gilles Ste-Croix in einer Kommune in Victoriaville (Quebec), wo er Äpfel erntete, um Geld zu verdienen. Eines Tages kam er auf die Idee, dass ihm die Arbeit sehr viel leichter fallen würde, wenn er die Leiter an seinen Beinen befestigen konnte – und so entstanden seine ersten Stelzen.

    Ein Freund erzählte ihm dann zufällig vom Bread and Puppet Theater im nahegelegenen Vermont, bei dem viele Darbietungen auf Stelzen basierten. Ste-Croix machte sich also auf den Weg zu diesem Theater und erkannte dort, dass ihm seine Erfahrung bei der Apfelernte tatsächlich in der weiteren Unterhaltungsbranche hilfreich sein könnte.

    1980 gründete Gilles Ste-Croix gemeinsam mit einer Straßenband die Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul und organisierte mit ihnen ein Straßenfest namens Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, das 1984 dann zur Gründung des Cirque du Soleil mit Guy Laliberté beitrug.

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  • Robert Lepage

    Writer and Director

    The multidisciplinary artist Robert Lepage is equally talented as a theatre director, playwright, actor and film director. Lauded by critics the world over, his modern and unusual work transcends all boundaries between disciplines.

    In 1975, Lepage entered the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Québec and, following a study period in France, he took part in several productions in which he combined the roles of actor, writer and director. In 1985, he created The Dragons' Trilogy, a show that earned him international recognition. He followed this with Vinci (1986), Polygraph (1987), Tectonic Plates (1988), Needles and Opium (1991). With A Midsummer Night’s Dream in 1992, he became the first North American to direct a Shakespeare play at the Royal National Theatre in London.

    From 1989 to 1993 Lepage was Artistic Director of the Théâtre français at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. In 1994 he founded his own company Ex Machina and directed The Seven Streams of the River Ota (1994), Le Songe d’une nuit d’été (1995) and a solo production, Elsinore (1995).

    Also in 1994, Robert Lepage made his début in the world of cinema. He wrote and directed his first feature film, Le Confessional, which was screened the following year at the Cannes Festival Directors’ Fortnight. He went on to direct Polygraph in 1996, Nô in 1997, Possible Worlds in 2000 (his first feature film written in English), and finally, in 2003, a film adaptation of his play The Far Side of the Moon.

    La Caserne, a multidisciplinary production centre in Quebec City, opened in 1997 under Robert Lepage’s leadership. There, he created and produced Geometry of Miracles (1998), Zulu Time (1999), The Far Side of The Moon (2000), a new version of The Dragons’ Trilogy with a new cast (2003) and The Busker’s Opera (2004). This was followed by The Andersen Project (2005), Lipsynch (2007), The Blue Dragon (2008) and Eonnagata (2009).

    Lepage made a grand entrance in the opera world when he staged the successful double bill of Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung (1993). He followed this with La Damnation de Faust presented for the first time in the Saito Kinen Festival Matsumoto, Japan (1999), 1984 in London (2005), The Rake’s Progress in Brussels (2007) and The Nightingale and Other Short Fables in Toronto (2009).

    Robert Lepage created and directed Peter Gabriel’s Secret World Tour (1993) and his Growing Up Tour (2002). As part of the festivities surrounding the 400th anniversary of Quebec City in 2008, he created Le Moulin à imagesTM – the largest architectural projection ever produced – on the walls of the Bunge, a massive grain silo. In 2009 he and his Ex Machina team created Aurora Borealis, a permanent light show for the structure, inspired by the colours of the northern lights.

    Winner of many prestigious awards, in 2009 Lepage received the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for his outstanding contribution to Canada’s cultural life throughout his career.

    TOTEM is Robert Lepage’s second Cirque du Soleil show following KÀ (2004). "Inspired by the foundation narratives of the first peoples, TOTEM explores the birth and evolution of the world, the relentless curiosity of human beings and their constant desire to excel,” he says. “The word totem suggests that human beings carry in their bodies the full potential of all living species, even the Thunderbird’s desire to fly to the top of the totem.”

    Robert Lepage was born in Quebec City in 1957.

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  • Neilson Vignola

    Director of Creation

    Neilson Vignola graduated from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1980. He began his professional career working in various capacities at many leading Quebec theatre companies, including the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and the Compagnie Jean Duceppe.

    It was with a 1981 production of The Tales of Hoffman that Neilson took his first steps into the world of opera as a stage manager. He received grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of Arts and Culture of Quebec and left for Europe in 1985, where he spent a year observing the work of several opera directors. In 1986 he assisted the director Richard Dembo on another production of The Tales of Hoffman, and Robert Altman on his production of The Rake’s Progress. In 1989 he worked on a production of Aida staged in Tokyo and Toronto. From 1990 to 1993 he was director of production at the Opéra de Montréal. In 1996 he worked on a production of Turandot mounted at the Montreal Olympic Stadium and in 1997 he directed La Cenerentola at McGill University.

    His longtime collaboration with TOTEM‘s director Robert Lepage, working as his assistant, began with a production of The Damnation of Faust, which was staged in Japan (1999), Paris (2001) and New York (2008). This was followed by a production of 1984 (the world premiere of which was mounted in London in 2005) and The Rake’s Progress, which played in Brussels and Lyon in 2007.

    Throughout his career, Neilson has also worked on festivals, musicals, dance productions and tours. Between 1987 and 1997, La La La Human Step, the Quebec singer Diane Dufresne, Le Théâtre Populaire du Québec, Le Festival International de Nouvelle Danse and other companies, engaged him as stage manager, production director, technical director or assistant stage director.

    Neilson has worked steadily at Cirque du Soleil since his first assignment in 1998 as technical director and then interim tour director of Saltimbanco. Following an assignment directing the development of new touring show infrastructure in 2002, he joined KÀ as director Robert Lepage’s assistant and production stage manager, and in 2005 he filled the same positions on DELIRIUM with Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon – which led to his first appointment as director of creation on ZAIA in 2007, followed by TOTEM.

    “For me, the ultimate satisfaction is to deliver a show that will conquer and provoke emotions in the audience,” says Neilson. “Our approach to TOTEM was to create a Big Top show in which not only human beings, but humanity itself would be at the very heart of our purpose.”

    Neilson Vignola was born in Forestville, Quebec in 1956.

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  • Carl Fillion

    Set and Props Designer

    Carl Fillion has a degree in set design from the Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Québec, where he taught technical drawing from 1992 to 2002. His training also included studies in architectural design and structure.

    Carl has worked with many prominent companies and directors around the world and has a long list of theatre, multimedia and opera credits to his name, including sets for La Celestina staged by Fernando de Rojas's Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm, The Burial at Thebes at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin and the opera Simon Boccanegra at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

    TOTEM is Carl Fillion’s first design for a Cirque du Soleil production, and he set himself the challenge of making all its forms organic, full of curves and irregular shapes, to reflect the forms found in nature – while serving the technically demanding needs of the show’s performances.

    Carl’s long association with director Robert Lepage began in 1994 with the groundbreaking show Les 7 branches de la rivière Ota, and he has continued to create set designs for more than a dozen major theatre and opera production mounted by Lepage’s company since that first collaboration.

    “TOTEM is about evolution, so it was appropriate that the sets went through their own evolution,” says Carl. “I don’t have single one-size-fits-all approach that I apply to every production. It depends on the genre – theatre, opera, and now, circus – and it also very much depends on who the director is. But I do always like to work with space, constantly transforming it and filling it with movement.”

    Carl Fillion was born in Baie-Comeau, Quebec, in 1966.

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  • Kym Barrett

    Costume Designer

    Kym Barrett, who has created some of the most influential clothing seen in recent years, had a nomadic childhood, living for a while on Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean before attending a boarding school in her native Australia.

    She went on to attend the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, where her association with Baz Luhrmann led her to the United States and Mexico to work on his 1996 film Romeo + Juliet.

    The costumes she created for Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes in that film attracted a great deal of attention and led to her meeting the Wachowski brothers, who hired her in 1999 to design the costumes for The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions – costumes that inspired fashion designers, other costume designers and consumers around the world.

    Her other film credits include Three Kings (1999), starring George Clooney, the Hughes twins’ From Hell (2001), starring Johnny Depp, and the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer (2008).

    For her work on screen, Kym was nominated in 2001 by the Costume Designers Guild of America's Best Costume Award for The Matrix, and won the guild’s award for Best Commercial Costume Design in 2002. The same year she was nominated for a best costume design Golden Satellite Award for her work on From Hell and in 2007 she was nominated for excellence in costume design for the fantasy film Eragon.

    For TOTEM, Kym’s designs reflect many facets of the creation and evolution of life and the development of civilizations on earth. Her work also encompasses the cycle of the seasons.

    “Although TOTEM is quite fantastical, there’s also a sense of reality,” says Kym. “The costumes were inspired in part by documentary film. I wanted them to have a kind of documentary patina, even though we were inventing our own reality.”

    Kym Barrett was born in Brisbane, Australia.

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  • Bob & Bill

    Composers and Musical Directors

    Composers and arrangers Guy Dubuc and Marc Lessard (aka Bob & Bill) are well known for their ability to blur the lines between genres and styles. In 2003, they composed the music for Splinter Cell (Pandora Tomorrow), a best-selling Ubisoft video game. They have also produced several albums, including Monica Freire’s Bahiatronica and Pink Floyd Redux, a collection of remixed songs from the British cult band, as well as the soundtrack album for the Cirque du Soleil show KOOZA. In 2004, Bob & Bill supplied the musical direction and arrangements for the Cirque du Soleil show Midnight Sun, as part of the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Montreal International Jazz Festival and the 20th anniversary of Cirque du Soleil. Three-time nominees for a Quebec music industry ADISQ award, the two sidekicks also created the music for several films and television series, and composed the music for Director Robert Lepage’s production Pageant de Canotgraphie. In 2008, the duo launched their first album, Crime Report, a work combining electronic and organic sounds.Bob & Bill worked many times with Cirque du Soleil to create the musical arrangements for several special events. Since 2009, they also acts as composers for Cirque du Soleil. They composed the music for TOTEM (2010), directed by Robert Lepage and Amaluna (2012), directed by Diane Paulus. Bob & Bill also wrote the music for the third and fifth chapters of Les Chemins Invisibles (2011 and 2013), a free outdoor show presented during the summer in Quebec City. KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities is their fifth show as composers for Cirque du Soleil.

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  • Jeff Hall

    Choreograph

    Known for blending his spectacular athleticism with his artistic eclecticism, Jeff Hall has inventively brought humor, dialogue and physical performance together on stage. He was Canadian Freestyle Frisbee Champion in 1989 and 1990, and the sport led him to the performing arts when he took a dance class to improve his Frisbee technique while at University. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Contemporary Dance at Concordia University (Montreal) and a Matriculation in Classical Music at McGill.

    Jeff has performed with many independent choreographers. He created the groundbreaking Duodenum with Pierre-Paul Savoie and eventually found his way to the Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, where he performed in the productions JOE and Piazza. He toured extensively with the Montreal company Carbone 14 from 1990-1995, performing in both the show and the film Café des Aveugles, and the show Le Dortoir as well as its award-winning film adaptation by François Girard.

    As co-Artistic Director of PPS Danse from 1992-1998 Jeff co-created Bagne, as well as the multimedia production Pôles, working with visual artists Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. This work has been presented in important venues across Canada and around the world and he and Pierre-Paul Savoie received the prestigious 1996 Jacqueline Lemieux Award for its choreography.

    Jeff was reunited with Carbone 14 as a performer in the 2001 creation Silences et Cris by Gilles Maheu. He then became Gilles’ assistant in La Bibliothèque, Carbone 14’s 2002 creation. That same year he assisted director Robert Lepage working on the remounting of Trilogie des Dragons, and Marie Brassard on her La Noirceur, both presented at the Festival Théâtre des Amériques in 2003. Since then he has completed a film directing program at l’Institut National de l'Image et du Son (INIS).

    Jeff started his relationship with Cirque du Soleil in 2005 as an artistic coach for The Beatles LOVE. His next major Cirque assignment was as acrobatic choreographer for ZAIA.

    In 2009, Jeff choreographed and danced in the film Falling, directed by Philip Spozer and Marlene Miller and choreographed Du Haut des Airs presented in 2010 by Cirque de Demain (France).

    “In each and every number in TOTEM there is an evolutionary factor, which is the thread that runs through the show,” he says. “Our decision to illustrate that thread through dance styles as diverse as hip hop and Bollywood came very naturally and organically. We researched Hindu dance, American Indian dance, African dance, coupled with theories of animism and totemism.”

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  • Étienne Boucher

    Lighting Designer

    Since leaving the National Theatre School of Canada in 1999, Étienne Boucher has been much in demand for his lighting designs as much for theatre and dance as for musicals and opera. He has participated in nearly a hundred productions,

    "I like to fill the whole space between the projector and the artist with light,” says Étienne. “It allows me to colour the air, which in turn lets me pick out the details of the set design and sculpt the artists."

    Etienne’s precise, chiselled designs – at times expressionistic, at times poetic – form pictures of light that fuel the narrative of the productions he works on. Concerned with the meaning of both colour and light, he is regarded in his milieu more as an illuminator than a lighting designer.

    He has regularly worked in partnership with directors such as René Richard Cyr, Brigitte Haentjens and Martin Faucher, and since 2004 he has worked closely with TOTEM director Robert Lepage at the latter’s company, Ex Machina. Their association began with La Celestina (Spain), and continued with Lipsynch (on international tour), The Rake's Progress (presented in co-production in Brussels, Lyon, San Francisco, London, Madrid and Milan) and Le Rossignol et autres fables (Toronto and the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 2010).

    Over the years, Étienne Boucher has won many accolades, garnering several award nominations at the Soirée des Masques (Quebec), winning two Masques in 2007 for lighting productions of Du vent entre les dents and La Dame aux camélias.

    "In TOTEM, I wanted to play with the colours of the projections on the marsh to create a third dimension by extending those effects onto the stage," says Étienne Boucher. "The light I have created for this show is a reflection borrowed from nature. My greens and blues were inspired by ice, and the reds and yellows were definitely inspired by fire. "

    Étienne Boucher was born in Montreal in 1972.

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  • Pedro Pires

    Image Content Designer

    Pedro Pires grew up in Quebec City, where he soon discovered his ability to reproduce and animate characters and monsters. These experiments allowed him to develop his own techniques of molding and special effects.

    In 1990, at age 21, he entered Laval University to study Fine Arts. Following that, he received a Special Make-Up Effects Certificate from the renowned New York artist Dick Smith and completed a Computer Graphic Design Certificate at the Centre NAD - National Animation and Design Centre in Montreal.

    His film debut was in 1995 with The Sound of the Carceri, a documentary by director François Girard, in which he recreated the fictitious prisons of Piranesi around the cellist Yo-Yo Ma in 3D. This work won him an Emmy Award for Outstanding Visual Effects and a Gemini Award for Best Visual Effects in 1998. He worked with François Girard again on the artistic direction of the visual effects in the film The Red Violin.

    In 2001, he took on the visual conception for the film Possible Worlds, which marked the beginning of a long artistic collaboration with the playwright, director and film-maker Robert Lepage.

    In 2007, he set up his own film production company, Pedro Pires Inc., dedicated to the creation of original content using digital technology. In 2008 his company produced the short film Danse Macabre, a multidisciplinary collaboration with AnneBruce Falconer and Robert Lepage, where he acts simultaneously as scriptwriter, director, photographer and editor. This film has been screened at many festivals since 2009 and has to date won 27 international prizes.

    TOTEM marks his first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil.

    “In TOTEM, the screen for the projections is a kind of virtual marsh at the rear of the stage,” notes Pedro Pires. “All the images are drawn from nature, even when they seem quite abstract. They evolve through the show in a long mix or a morph to create an ever-changing tableau that interacts with the artists and lives in harmony with the stage lighting.”

    Pedro Pires was born into a Portuguese family in Nantes, France, in 1969.

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  • Jacques Boucher

    Concepteur sonore

    Depuis plus de vingt-cinq ans, Jacques Boucher conçoit les environnements sonores pour une multitude de productions du Québec et d’ailleurs. Sonorisateur pour différents artistes québécois dont Richard Séguin, Laurence Jalbert, Diane Dufresne et Bruno Pelletier, l’expertise de Jacques Boucher a été mise au service de comédies musicales telles que Dracula (2006) et de grands événements, dont le méga spectacle 2000 voix chantent le monde, présenté à Québec en 2000, avec plus de 2 300 choristes sur scène. En 2008, Jacques est invité à mettre la main à la presque totalité des événements de la Société du 400e anniversaire de la ville de Québec en tant que concepteur et chef sonorisateur : il participe à la Symphonie des mille de Gustav Mahler avec l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec, au spectacle Le Moulin à images de Robert Lepage, dont il conçoit l’imposant système de diffusion sonore s’étalant sur 1,2 km et  à l’événement-spectacle présenté par le Cirque du Soleil. Jacques Boucher travaille également à titre de concepteur sonore et de chef sonorisateur pour des événements spéciaux du Cirque du Soleil. Après TOTEM, il collaborera pour une deuxième fois à un spectacle du Cirque du Soleil.

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  • Pierre Masse

    Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer

    Pierre Masse’s career spans just about every genre of the performing arts. He was involved in major productions with the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens and Céline Dion as well as a production of Les Misérables. He has collaborated with Cirque du Soleil since 1996, and took part in the creation of Quidam, Varekai, Zumanity, KÀ and CRISS ANGEL Believe. Michael Jackson ONE is Pierre Masse’s third Cirque du Soleil show as Acrobatic Rigging and Equipment Designer following TOTEM and IRIS – A Journey Through the World of Cinema.

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  • Florence Pot

    Acrobatic Performance Designer

    A gymnast at the age of six, Florence Pot completed her university degree in physical education in France and went on to specialize in sports psychology. She decided to move to Montreal in 1991 primarily to continue her academic career.

    She studied for her master's degree in sports psychology at the University of Montreal while working as a coach at the club Gymnix de Montréal. She returned to France two years later to choreograph performances for the French Gymnastics Federation.

    Motivated by a lack of professional challenges in France and a strong desire to work at Cirque du Soleil, Florence came back to Canada in 1997 to renew her network of contacts with the company and to choreograph performances by Canadian competitive gymnasts.

    In 2001, she accepted a position scouting acrobatic talent for Cirque's casting department and in 2003 she became the company’s Head Scout. In 2006 she accepted the invitation to become Acrobatic Performance Designer on ZED (Cirque's resident show in Tokyo) because she wanted to get closer to the creation process and be part of it from start to finish. She reprised the same role on TOTEM and Zarkana.

    "What interests me most is the emotion that emerges from the performance of an artist on stage,” says Florence. “The acrobatic framework of Zarkana was born in a world that was firmly rooted in the circus, where virtuosity cohabits with madness. We were inspired by traditional circus sideshows to highlight the crazy and decadent side of Zark’s world.”

    Florence Pot was born in Rouen, France.

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  • Nathalie J. Simard

    Makeup Designer

    Nathalie J. Simard has been practicing the art of makeup for over 20 years. She studied visual arts and took several theatre and makeup workshops, but is largely self-taught, having learned her craft on the streets of Quebec City. There, she explored the many facets of makeup in depth and developed a distinctive style that is all her own, using the body and face of her subjects as her canvas.

    An innovator since the 1980s, Nathalie became well known for transforming children and adults alike with her distinctive designs at festivals and outdoor events throughout Quebec. Constantly on the lookout for new sources of inspiration, she then took her talents to other stages across Canada, Asia, Europe and the United States.

    Her creations have been seen by tens of thousands of people in several major events such as the International Children's Festivals network across Canada and the International Buskers Festivals held in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

    Nathalie has worked on theatre productions for Marie Dumais and photography projects with David Cannon. She also worked with characters for the EOS Circus in Quebec City, and created hundreds of makeup designs for the Quebec City Festival d’été and Winter Carnival. For ten years she has designed characters for productions by the Quebec creator Olivier Dufour, including his show Le Chemin qui marche (one of the main events of Quebec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations), and Festival Montréal en lumière.

    Early in 2000, Nathalie founded Kromatik, a company that specializes in makeup for street art. Working with a team of artists as dedicated as herself, she developed a technique of makeup and animation that set new standards in the field. Combining speed, creativity and originality, she can produce a collective work in minutes.

    TOTEM marks Nathalie’s first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. "The show deals with humanity in all its diversity and richness," she says. “I used the patterns and iconography of a vast array of different cultures to create the different characters. I am just as inspired by all the artists, their energy and their performance to create characters that are a really good fit."

    Nathalie J. Simard was born in Quebec in 1967.

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