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Dralion

Fusing the 3000 year-old tradition of Chinese acrobatic arts with the multidisciplinary approach of Cirque du Soleil, Dralion draws its inspiration from Eastern philosophy and its never-ending quest for harmony between humans and nature. The show's name is derived from its two emblematic creatures: the dragon, symbolizing the East, and the lion, symbolizing the West.

In Dralion, the four elements that govern the natural order take on a human form. Thus embodied, each element is represented by its own evocative colour: air is blue; water is green; fire is red; earth is ochre. In the world of Dralion, cultures blend, Man and Nature are one, and balance is achieved.

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Dralion - Creators

  • Guy Laliberté

    Founder and Creative Guide

    Guy Laliberté was born in Québec City in 1959. An accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-eater, he founded Quebec's first internationally-renowned circus with the support of a small group of accomplices. A bold visionary, Guy Laliberté recognized and cultivated the talents of the street performers from the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil in 1984.

    Guy Laliberté was the first to orchestrate the marriage of cultures and artistic and acrobatic disciplines that is the hallmark of Cirque du Soleil. Since 1984, he has guided the creative team through the creation of every show and contributed to elevating the circus arts to the level of the great artistic disciplines.

    Cirque du Soleil has become an international organization, as much in terms of its makeup as in the scope of its activities and influence. Guy Laliberté now heads an organization with activities on five continents.

    In October 2007, Guy Laliberté entered into a second lifetime commitment by creating the ONE DROP Foundation to fight poverty around the world by providing sustainable access to safe water.  This new dream stems from the knowledge that the right to water is key to the survival of individuals and communities all over the world and from the values which have been at the heart of Cirque du Soleil since its inception:  the belief that life gives back what you have given and even the smallest gesture will make a difference.

    In September 2009, Guy Laliberté became the first Canadian private space explorer.  His mission was dedicated to raising awareness on water issues facing humankind on planet earth. Under the theme Moving Stars and Earth for Water, this first Poetic Social Mission in space aimed at touching people through an artistic approach: a special 120-minute webcast program featuring various artistic performances unfolding in 14 cities on five continents, including the International Space Station.

    Main Awards and Distinctions
    In 2012, Guy Laliberté was inducted into the American Gaming Association’s Gaming Hall of Fame. In 2011, he became one of the inductees of the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. Guy Laliberté was awarded his very own star on the legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2010. In the same year, the Quebec government honoured Guy by promoting him from Chevalier (a distinction granted six years earlier) to Officier as a member of the Ordre de la Pléiade. Université Laval (Québec) awarded an honorary doctorate to Guy Laliberté in 2008. The year before, Guy Laliberté took the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award for all three levels: Quebec, Canada and international. In 2004, he received the Order of Canada, the highest distinction in the country, from the Governor General of Canada.  The same year, he was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2003, he was honoured by the Condé Nast group as part of the Never Follow Program, a tribute to creators and innovators. In 2001, he was named a Great Montrealer by the Académie des Grands Montréalais. In 1997, Guy Laliberté received the Ordre National du Québec, the highest distinction awarded by the Government of Quebec.

    Other awards and distinctions

    2009
    Lifetime Achievement Award granted by the Canadian Marketing Association

    2002
    Induction to Canada’s Walk of Fame

    1998
    Visionary Award granted by the American Craft Museum (now the Museum of Arts and Design in New York)

    1996
    Vision nouvelle award received at the 43rd Gala du Commerce (Quebec)

    1988
    Personality of the Year, Gala Excellence La Presse (Quebec)

    1988
    Entrepreneur of the Year, Les Affaires magazine (Quebec)

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  • Gilles Ste-Croix

    Artistic Guide

    When Gilles Ste-Croix first told his parents he wanted to go into show business they said “Anything but that!” Ste-Croix grew up in rural Quebec, but he was determined not to stay there. He became a hippie and a nomad, living in communes and making the obligatory ‘60s pilgrimage to the West Coast where he lived in communes and audited some drama classes.

    Ste-Croix did try to conform, even working in an architect’s office for a while, but he knew in his heart that he wasn’t cut out for a conventional business career. At the same time, his search for a vocation was not in any way aimless or vague. He says that from his teens he always had a strong drive to succeed and an equally strong desire to entertain. However his entrée into show business came about in a most unusual and unpredictable way.

    In the late 1970s Gilles Ste-Croix was living in a commune in Victoriaville, Quebec, picking apples to make money. One day he mused that the job would be a whole lot easier if he could attach the ladder to his legs—and devised his first set of stilts.

    A friend happened to mention the Bread and Puppet Theater in nearby Vermont, which used stilt-walking as the basis of many of its performances. Ste-Croix went to see the company and realized that his apple-picking skills might actually be in demand in the wider world of entertainment.

    In 1980, Gilles Ste-Croix and a band of street artists founded the Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul and organized a street performance festival called the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul, which would eventually lead to the founding of Cirque du Soleil with Guy Laliberté in 1984.

    In 1984 and 1985, Gilles Ste-Croix designed and performed many stilt acts for Cirque du Soleil. In 1988, he became Cirque's Artistic Director, as well as coordinating a talent search that extended to the four corners of the globe.  He was Director of Creation for all of Cirque du Soleil's productions from 1990 to 2000: Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, La Nouba, "O", and Dralion.  In 1992, he directed Fascination, the first Cirque du Soleil show presented in arenas in Japan. He also directed the groundbreaking 1997 dinner/cabaret show Pomp Duck and Circumstance in Germany.

    In 2000, while continuing to act as a consultant for Cirque du Soleil, Gilles Ste-Croix decided to realize one of his greatest dreams: Driven by his passionate interest in horses, he founded his own company to produce the 2003 show Cheval-Théâtre, which featured 30 horses and as many artist-acrobats under canvas and toured ten cities in North America.

    Since December 2002, Gilles St-Croix returned to Cirque du Soleil as Vice-President of Creation, New Project Development. In July 2006 he was nominated Senior Vice-President of Creative Content.

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  • Guy Caron

    Director

    Caron was Cirque's first Artistic Director when the company was created in 1984. He is also the founder of Montreal 's National Circus School. After an absence of a few years to pursue other interests, he returned to Cirque in 1998 to direct Dralion (1999) and work as Director of Creation on KÀ (2004).

    Guy Caron is one of the main pioneers of the rebirth of the circus arts. In 1975, when no circus existed in Quebec, Guy Caron left for Hungary and studied for three years at the École de cirque de Budapest. In 1981, he founded the École nationale de cirque de Montréal with Pierre Leclerc. He was its executive director for ten years.

    He regularly seats on the juries of many circus festivals all over the world. From 1987 to 1989, he was the executive director of the Centre national des arts du cirque de Châlons-en-Champagne, in France. Since 1992, he has been a consultant and director for well-known circuses in Switzerland, France and the United States. In 1996, he directed three acts that won the Clown d'Or award at the Festival de Monte Carlo. These acts were performed by members of the Swiss family Knie.

    Guy Caron came to the circus arts through a fortuitous encounter with clowns Rodrigue Tremblay and Sonia Côté, alias Chatouille and Chocolat, in the 1970s. With them, he went to Hungary, and once back in Montreal, he was at the forefront of the public entertainers who were precursors to Cirque du Soleil. He owes his vocation as an actor to his mentor, man of theatre Paul Buissonneau. "He gave me everything: my tools as an actor, my first professional job, and even, quite often, his theatre, the Quat'Sous," he says.

    Circus arts are far from being the only field where Guy Caron has left his mark. He has four times been a member of the creative team for Quebec singer Diane Dufresne's shows. He has also worked on scenarios and as an artistic director or director for many forms of variety shows, especially cabarets, musicals, singing and magic.

    Guy Caron has also taken university courses in performance arts administration. This education has served, among other things, to help him sit for four years on the board of directors of the École nationale de cirque de Montréal and for three years on the board of the Festival mondial du cirque de demain, in Paris.

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  • François Barbeau

    Costume Designer

    Costume designer, director, and teacher François Barbeau is one of the most renowned and respected stage artisans in Canada. In 1998, he joined the team of designers behind the Cirque du Soleil show Dralion, and this creation earned him an Emmy in 2001, awarded by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for "Outstanding Costumes for a Variety or Music Program." His association with Cirque du Soleil continued in 2004 when he designed the costumes for the opening ceremonies of the XIth FINA World Championships in Montreal.

    In his career, François Barbeau has designed costumes for hundreds of plays, ballets, and operas presented in Canada, the United States, France, Switzerland, and Israel. He has also directed over fifty plays in Montreal and Toronto since 1984. In 1987, he created the costumes for the opera The Rake's Progress directed by Robert Lepage and presented at the Monnaie theatre in Brussels, Belgium.

    François Barbeau was the official costume designer at the Théâtre du Rideau Vert in Montreal for many years. He also works regularly, as costume designer or director, with many other major companies in Montreal, including the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, the Nouvelle Compagnie Théâtrale, Quat'Sous, the Centaur, the Compagnie Jean-Duceppe, and the Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, as well as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.

    He features, as costume designer or artistic director, in the credits of dozens of Quebec films and television programs. His talent is recognized by French directors as well: Louis Malle called on him for Atlantic City and he worked with Gérard Depardieu on Tartuffe. In 2004, he created the costumes for Jean Beaudin's feature film Nouvelle-France, for which he received the Jutra award for "Best Costumes."

    From 1962 to 1987, François Barbeau also played a key role in training the new generation, as a teacher at the National Theatre School of Canada and then as director of the school's Scenography Program. His emulators include Dominique Lemieux, Michel Crête and Stéphane Roy, all designers at Cirque du Soleil.

    In 2000, François Barbeau received the Order of Canada, the country's highest distinction. His lifetime achievement has also been recognized with an honorary Masque from the Académie québécoise du théâtre, the Governor General's Performing Arts Award, and the Prix Victor-Morin of the Société Saint-Jean-Baptiste of Montreal. In 2007, the Université du Québec à Montréal granted him an honorary doctorate for his outstanding contribution to the improvement of performing arts and culture in Quebec.

    He has been awarded abundant other prizes and distinctions in the fields of theatre, film, and television.

    François Barbeau was born in Montreal.

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  • Stéphane Roy

    Set Designer

    Stéphane Roy has worked as both a set designer and artistic director on over 100 productions in Montreal and abroad among which L’Odyssée, directed by Quebec playwright Dominic Champagne, at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (2002), and Les Âmes mortes, directed by Gilles Maheu, at Carbone 14 in Montreal (1996). Since 1990 he has designed sets for dance productions by such internationally-acclaimed dance troupes as La La La Human Steps and O Vertigo.While primarily active in theatre and dance, he has also worked in film, television, advertising and variety shows. Since 2011, Stéphane has been one of three artists in residence appointed by the Montreal Nature Museums group to create organic links between the city’s four natural science museums. He also designed The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terra Cotta Army exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011. His achievements have earned him many awards and honors, including being named Revelation of the Year, All Categories Combined, by the Association Québécoise des Critiques de Théâtre in 1989. In 1992, the same association honored him with the award for best set design. His talent has also been recognized by the Conseil des Arts de la Communauté Urbaine de Montréal, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and the Académie Québécoise du Théâtre. For Cirque du Soleil, Stéphane designed the set for Dralion, Varekai, Zumanity, KOOZA, Zarkana and KURIOS – Cabinet of curiosities.

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  • Luc Lafortune

    Lighting Designer

    In directing the lighting for the show KÀ, Luc Lafortune is contributing to his twelfth creation with Cirque du Soleil. He has been associated with Cirque du Soleil since its beginnings in 1984. That year, he was hired as a lighting technician backstage. The following year, he was at the lighting control booth for the young troupe's eight-month tour. In 1986, he became the lighting designer. Since then, his lighting creations have toured the world.

    At Cirque du Soleil, his creator's resumé includes the shows We Reinvent the Circus, Fascination, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegría, Quidam, "O", La Nouba, Dralion, Varekai and Zumanity. He was also co-director of photography for the video recording of the show Quidam.

    In 2002, he worked with director Robert Lepage to design the lighting for British singer Peter Gabriel's world tour, Growing Up. Many other internationally successful artists and groups have called upon his talents. Since 1996, he has worked with, among others, No Doubt, The Eagles, Gipsy Kings and Swiss circus Salto Natale.

    Luc Lafortune studied theatre production at Concordia University in Montreal . He was originally interested in set design. "One day, during rehearsal, I discovered the ability of light to redefine a space, to make a strong contribution to the image and spirit of a show," he says. The experience inspired a passion that still permeates his work today.

    The excellence of his work has garnered him many awards. In 1992, his lighting design for the show Saltimbanco earned him a Drama-Logue Theater Award, given by critics from the California-based theatre magazine of that name. In 1994, he was chosen as designer of the year by the magazine Lighting Dimensions International (LDI). In 1997, the Martin Professionals show The Atomic Lounge, for which Luc Lafortune was artistic director, won the LDI for best light show. In 1998, he took an Entertainment Design Award for his lighting design for the show "O".

    Luc Lafortune is regularly invited as a speaker to share his knowledge and thoughts with students and professionals all over the world.

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  • Violaine Corradi

    Composer and Musical Director

    Violaine Corradi was born in Trieste, Italy and arrived in Montreal at the age of four. Her father was a composer and conductor, and her mother an opera singer. In keeping with the family tradition, she received classical training in singing, piano, clarinet and side flute. At the age of seven, she joined the children’s choir that accompanied the Bolshoi Opera, the Milan Scala and the Opéra du Québec during performances at Place des Arts in Montreal.

    She later studied drama, and chose piano and voice as her principal instruments. Her work gradually evolved into a fusion of musical styles as she developed a strong interest in world music, which would later become pivotal in her compositions.

    Violaine’s work reflects the rich diversity of her influences and interests. She has composed scores for numerous exhibitions and films. From 1993 to 1998 she composed, arranged and interpreted the music to accompany leading Quebec poets in the audio series Poésie/musique. The nine titles in this collection, which she co-produced, have enjoyed wide success in international French-speaking markets. Some of the pieces from her 1996 solo album Passages, including Illuminations, are included in anthologies alongside works by such artists as Philip Glass, Jon Anderson and Andreas Vollenweider.

    Since 1999, Violaine has composed arranged, produced and served as musical director of the soundtrack of the IMAX films Bears and Great North, the Grand Prize winner of the 2001 Géode award at the Paris Film Festival.

    Violaine Corradi’s music for ZAIA is her third assignment with Cirque du Soleil, following Dralion and Varekai. "At Cirque du Soleil, the creators are asked to work in a vacuum, like the acrobats. But we also engage in a collective creation: That is our safety net,” she says. “The director, Gilles Maheu had an inspiring vision for ZAIA that greatly stimulated my creative process for the show. When I write the musical score, I first develop the themes that the characters inspire in me, because everything flows from them.”

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  • Julie Lachance

    Choreographer

    Julie Lachance began her career in dance and has worked in the Quebec circus world for more than 25 years, as a choreographer, art advisor, director and teacher.

    She has pursued classical and contemporary dance training, through teaching these disciplines she grew into the world of Cirque. 1986 marks the debut of her non-stop association with the circus arts.  In 1987, she became Educational director for Montreal’s National Circus School (ÉNC) and she has been at the school as a dance instructor and art advisor for its collegial education program since 1992.

    Since 1990, Julie Lachance has participated, as choreographer, designer or director, in more than 15 shows starring students from the internationally renowned school. She has also been involved in the design of shows representing the ÉNC at international events, in particular the Festival des Hautes Écoles de Cirque in Brussels. Her choreographic creations for circus acts won the performers numerous prizes at Festival du Cirque de Demain (France), la Piste aux espoirs de Tournai (Belgium), China Wuqiao International Circus Festival and the Festival Première rampe of Monaco.

    In addition to her contributions at l’ÉNC, Julie collaborated to numerous creations in dance and circus arts in Montreal and abroad. She choreographed Synfonia and Chameleon (Salto Natale, Switzerland), and Ulalena (Maui Myth and Magic, Hawaii). She acted as Artistic Director and Stage Director for My dance, Do I know You and Appartement #21 of Sandy Silva and created and directed Alice from L’Arsenal à musique. Julie is also the co-founder of Les Productions à Trois têtes; a group for which she created Celui qui a des yeux, an intimate and surreal circus theater production.

    Her first collaboration with Cirque du Soleil was in 1999, as a choreographer for Dralion.

    Julie Lachance has known a prolific and diverse artistic career. Whether it is through large or smaller scale shows, or research work and exploration workshops with artists from independent circuses, she discusses creating circus arts through an integrated approach towards the merger of forms and genres.

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  • Guy Desrochers

    Sound Designer

    Guy Desrochers spearheaded the sound design of the Cirque du Soleil shows Nouvelle Expérience (1992), Fascination (1992) and Dralion (1999). A passionate artist, he also created the soundscape for the North American, European and Asian tours of Alegría.

    During his career, he designed the sound for more than 300 hours worth of shows, festivals and gala events, plying his trade alongside a multitude of artists spanning a wide range of musical styles. While in Montreal, he worked on the sound design of four opera productions: Nelligan, Aïda, Carmen and Les Ailes du Feu, a work by composer Philippe Leduc. He also worked in tandem with a number of major artists in the entertainment business, such as Bryan Adams, Céline Dion, Chris de Burgh and André-Philippe Gagnon.

    His outstanding work garnered him numerous award nominations from the Quebec TV and entertainment industry. In 1994, Desrochers received a Félix for best sound designer from the Association québécoise de l'industrie du disque, du spectacle et de la vidéo (ADISQ).

    In 2001, he completed the sound design for the show Cheval, a production by Cheval-Théâtre, an equestrian circus company founded by Gilles Ste-Croix.

    In 2002, Cirque du Soleil sadly learned of the passing of Guy Desrochers. However, thanks to the Dralion show, his work is still very much alive.

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  • Michel Dallaire

    Clown Act Designer

    Cirque du Soleil fans will remember the clown group called La Ratatouille, which performed in 1984 and 1985. Michel Dallaire was the soul behind it. He has since put together a number of groups and created many clown shows in Europe, including Pomp Duck and Circumstance, Cirque Gosh in Germany, and Les Hommes Noirs. Recently, he founded a clown school in France. Guy Caron has relied on Michel's talent to put together a group of clowns in the pure "absurd" style, a style very familiar to Michel.

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