For the past 20 years Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt has designed costumes for a large number of theatre, dance, opera and film productions. Her work, which combines the two diciplines she has specialized in – set design as well as costume design – has been seen around the world.
Since 1989 she has worked particularly closely with world-renowned writer, actor and director Robert Lepage, creating the costumes for many of his productions, including Les Sept Branches de la Rivière Ota, La Géométrie des Miracles, La Face Cachée de la Lune, Peter Gabriel's Growing Up tour, La Trilogie des Dragons and KÀ, for Cirque du Soleil.
Through the years Marie-Chantale has won many major Canadian awards for her work, including two Masques de la Conception des Costumes, in 1995 and 2005. She has also received many award nominations – notably from the Genies and the Jutras for her work with Robert Lepage on the feature film Nô.
"Even if KOOZA isn't specifically a clown show, a number of the characters are played by clowns," notes Marie-Chantale. "I needed to avoid clichés and caricature so I concentrated more on archetypes of universal and unchanging characters. There is a comic-book aesthetic to the designs, but it's filtered through the naïve point of view of the main character, The Innocent.
My costumes draw on a wide variety of sources of inspiration: everything from graphic novels, the paintings of Gustav Klimt, Baron Münchhausen, the Mad Max movies, time-travel movies to India and Eastern Europe. This visually naïve, exotic and timeless universe evokes the world of toys, lead soldiers and children's books, with a wink toward Alice in Wonderland and the Wizard of Oz."
Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt was born in Sept-Iles, Quebec in 1967.