Cirque du SoleilHet begon allemaal in Baie-Saint-Paul, een dorpje vlak bij Quebec City in Canada. Daar trok begin jaren '80 een groep kleurrijke personages door de straten, op stelten, jonglerend, dansend, vuurspuwend en musicerend. Zij vormden 'Les Échassiers de Baie-Saint-Paul' (de steltenlopers van Baie-Saint-Paul), een straattheatergezelschap opgericht door Gilles Ste-Croix. Toen al waren de mensen in het dorp erg onder de indruk van de jonge artiesten, waaronder een zekere Guy Laliberté, de latere oprichter en CEO van 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.