Cirque du SoleilTodo comenzó en Baie-Saint-Paul, un pequeño pueblo cerca de Quebec (Canadá). Allí, a comienzos de la década de los ochenta, un grupo de personajes llenos de color deambulaban por las calles subidos en zancas, haciendo malabares, bailando, lanzando fuego por la boca y tocando música. Se trataba de Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul (los zancudos de Baie-Saint-Paul), un grupo de teatro callejero fundado por Gilles Ste-Croix. Los habitantes del pueblo quedaron impresionados por los jóvenes artistas y, entre ellos, se encontraba Guy Laliberté, que posteriormente fundaría y se convertiría en director general del Cirque du Soleil.
Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer
In 1984, after some eye-opening encounters at Zingaro Circus (France), Fred left a career drilling for oil to tap into circus arts. Among the first to graduate from the National Centre for Circus Arts in Châlons-sur-Marne (France) as a flying trapeze porter, Fred was approached to become a trapeze artist in the Cirque du Soleil show Nouvelle Expérience. Forced to leave the stage following an injury, he became assistant to the show’s director and artistic director. He went on to assume the role of Tour Artistic Coordinator. After a short stint in Europe, he returned to Cirque du Soleil, taking his first steps in acrobatic equipment design for the shows Alegría and Mystère. Working as Head Rigger and training circus technicians at Cirque du Soleil International Headquarters in Montreal, he then took up these duties on several touring shows between 1997 and 2006. With the help of his circus friends, Fred co-founded the Nickel Chrome group in Martigues in the South of France. As a member of this organization, which supports circus projects, he acts as Tent Master/Head Rigger, Artistic Director, Designer or Trainer for circus projects and companies all over the world. Working with Nickel Chrome and Théâtre Europe, he was also involved in the creation and development of the Janvier dans les Étoiles festival in La Seyne-sur-Mer, France. This is the second time Fred Gérard has worked on a Cirque du Soleil show as Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer, after OVO.