Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer
Danny Zen first arrived at Cirque du Soleil in 1990 to work as a welder in the company's workshops. That same year he went on the first European tour of Le Cirque Réinventé, then moved on to Nouvelle Expérience on which he worked as a welder, assembler, mechanic and head usher. In 1992 he toured with Saltimbanco as a tent technician.
Since 1993 Danny has worked in the continuing development of the Creative Studio at Cirque du Soleil. His innovations as head rigger and technical expert are largely responsible for establishing Cirque's demanding standards in training all its riggers, and maintaining the safety of the performers and technicians at all times.
Danny has worked at the National Circus School in Montreal and has, over the years, contributed to the design of most of the aerial acrobatic equipment used in the Cirque du Soleil shows Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, Dralion, Varekai, "O", La Nouba and KÀ. He was also Head Rigger for Quidam in 1996. In 2008, he designed the rigging and equipment for the acrobatics show at the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebrations.
Zarkana is Danny Zen’s third engagement as Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer for a Cirque du Soleil show, following Corteo and KOOZA.
“The acrobatic equipment on Zarkana was designed to blend in with the 1930s-inspired décor of the show,” he says. “The action of the show is set in the same period. I'm fascinated by the curves and organic shapes of that era and I've been inspired by the French Art Nouveau master glassmaker and jeweler Lalique and the Spanish architect and engineer Calatrava."
Danny Zen was born in Saint-Luc, Québec.