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Varekai

Deep within a forest, at the summit of a volcano, exists an extraordinary world - a world where something else is possible. A world called Varekai.

From the sky falls a solitary young man, and the story of Varekai begins. Parachuted into the shadows of a magical forest, a kaleidoscopic world populated by fantastical creatures, this young man sets off on an adventure both absurd and extraordinary. On this day at the edge of time, in this place of all possibilities, begins an inspired incantation to life rediscovered.

The word Varekai means "wherever" in the Romany language of the gypsies the universal wanderers. This production pays tribute to the nomadic soul, to the spirit and art of the circus tradition, and to the infinite passion of those whose quest takes them along the path that leads to Varekai.

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在 美國, 加拿大 舉行的巡迴表演

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Varekai - 創作人

  • Guy Laliberté

    創始人

    Guy Laliberté 於 1959 年誕生於魁北克市。身兼手風琴師、高蹺和吞火特技表演者身分的他,在一小群同好的支持下,創立了魁北克首支享譽國際的馬戲劇團。Guy Laliberté 憑藉著大膽的遠見,肯定並培養在 Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul 中嶄露頭角之街頭藝人的才華,隨後於 1984 年創立了 Cirque du Soleili (太陽劇團)。

    Guy Laliberté 首創結合文化、藝術美學與特技訓練的演出手法,也成為太陽劇團的正字商標。早自 1984 年開始,他便引導著創意團隊打造出一齣齣劇碼,同時投注己力將馬戲藝術推向更高水準的藝術殿堂。

    太陽劇團如今在其組成規模、活動和影響力範圍上,已經晉身國際組織之林。Guy Laliberté 目前領導的已是個活躍於五大洲的組織。

    2007 年 10 月,Guy Laliberté 開始投身其第二項終生事業 ONE DROP 基金會,致力於透過永續的方式取得安全無虞的飲用水,藉此改善世界各地的貧窮問題。這個嶄新的夢想源自對取得水源的權利乃全球社群和個人生存之所繫的體認,也是從太陽劇團創始之初便確立的核心價值:堅信受人點滴當亟思回饋,微小之舉可成重大之事。

    2009 年 9 月,Guy Laliberté 成為加拿大首位私人太空遊客。他希望藉由此舉讓世人注意到人類在地球上面臨的飲水問題。第一次的太空「詩意社會使命」(Poetic Social Mission),以地空連線,關懷水資源 (Moving Stars and Earth for Water) 為主題,目的在於透過藝術的手法感動人心,在特別製播的 120 分鐘 Webcast 節目中,呈現了在五大洲 14 個城市以及國際太空站中展開的多項藝術表演。

    重大獎項與榮譽肯定
    2012 年,Guy Laliberté 晉身美國博彩協會(American Gaming Association) 的博彩名人堂 (Gaming Hall of Fame)。2011 年進入加拿大商業名人堂 (Canadian Business Hall of Fame) 之列。2010 年,Guy Laliberté 獲得在傳奇的好萊塢星光大道 (Hollywood Walk of Fame) 上留下專屬星型勳章的殊榮。同年,魁北克政府為表揚其貢獻,更將六年前授予的騎士 (Chevalier) 勳章拔擢成為軍官 (Officier) 勳章,使其成為 Ordre de la Pléiade 的受勳者之一。2008 年,魁北克 Laval 大學 (Université Laval) 授予 Guy Laliberté 榮譽博士學位。前一年,Guy Laliberté 獲得安永 (Ernst & Young) 年度企業家大獎肯定,其獲獎層級涵蓋三大層級:魁北克、加拿大和國際。2004 年,他獲得加拿大總理頒發的加拿大最高榮譽加拿大勳章 (Order of Canada), 同年更獲得時代雜誌 (Time Magazine) 票選為全球百大影響力人士。2003 年,他獲選為 Condé Nast 集團的領先者計畫 (Never Follow Program) 之一,該計畫宗旨在於表彰傑出創造者和創新人士。2001 年,榮獲大蒙特婁學院 (Académie des Grands Montréalais) 提名為傑出蒙特婁公民 (Great Montrealer)。1997 年,Guy Laliberté 接受魁北克政府頒發的最高榮譽魁北克勳章 (Ordre National du Québec)。


    其他獎項與榮譽肯定

    2009
    加拿大行銷協會 (Canadian Marketing Association) 終生成就獎

    2002
    進入加拿大星光大道

    1998
    美國工藝博物館 (American Craft Museum,現為紐約藝術與設計博物館 (Museum of Arts and Design)) 遠見成就獎 (Visionary Award)

    1996
    於第 43 屆商業大會 (魁北克) 中獲頒創新視野 (Vision nouvelle) 獎

    1988
    魁北克傑出媒體大會 (Gala Excellence La Presse) 年度風雲人物

    1988
    Les Affaires 雜誌 (魁北克) 年度企業家

     

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  • Dominic Champagne

    作者兼導演

    A multitalented and prolific playwright, director and Artistic Director of his own theatre company, Dominic Champagne has been a forceful presence on the Quebec cultural scene since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1987.

    In 1992, Champagne created waves among the public and his peers with his show Cabaret Neiges Noires, written in collaboration with his fellow artists at Théâtre il va sans dire. Inspired by Martin Luther King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech, the play was highly innovative in both its message and its medium. The script was at once cynical, poetic, dark and funny, while the festive and unrestrained staging brought together acting, song and music. Champagne's gamble paid off: he succeeded in taking a critical look at the era and in bringing new audiences into the theatre. The show has been performed more than 100 times since it was first created.

    Champagne adapted and directed Don Quichotte (Cervantes' Don Quixote) for a 1998 stage production that attracted record crowds to Montreal's Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, and in 2000 he set new attendance records with his staging of L'Odyssée (The Odyssey, by Homer). His other creations for the theatre include La Caverne, L'Asile, Lolita, La Cité Interdite and La Répétition.

    He has also worked in television as a writer for the series Les Grands Procès, and was involved in the creation and direction of many variety shows including Le Plaisir Croît Avec l'Usage, the opening ceremonies of the Jeux de la Francophonie, Tous Unis Contre le SIDA, Les Spectacles de la Fête Nationale and La Soirée des Masques.

    His more than 100 accomplishments for the stage, television and circus have earned him a host of awards and honors, including the Prix de la Critique for the text of La Répétition, two Gémeau awards for best direction for L'Odyssée and Don Quichotte, the Gémeau for best dramatic writing for Aurore and the Masque du Public for his adaptation of L'Odyssée.

    Champagne's work in theatre and television led to an invitation from Cirque du Soleil to direct Varekai in 2002. Champagne's next assignment for Cirque was to co-direct ZUMANITY with René Richard Cyr. Writing and directing LOVE has been both rewarding and enormously challenging for Champagne. "It was a privilege and a great honor to be asked to do this," he says.

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  • Andrew Watson

    Director of Creation

    After ten years of working on stage as an acrobat, Andrew Watson now works behind the scenes, as Director of Creation for Cirque du Soleil's new production, Zumanity. Previously, he played this role with Varekai, which premiered in the spring of 2002. This show marked a pivotal moment in the artistic career of a man who is no stranger to risk.

    In 1984, the year Cirque du Soleil was founded, he enrolled as a general artist in the Gerry Cottle Circus in London. He was 24 at the time and didn't have the gymnastic training of most acrobats. But that didn't stop him: he became a trapeze artist. In 1986, his duo performance at the Festival du Cirque de Demain, in Paris, earned him job offers from several well-known European circuses. He went on tour with the German circus troupe Roncalli, attracted by its blend of theatre and traditional circus elements.

    His Cirque de Demain performance was also noticed by Guy Caron, at the time artistic director of a youthful Cirque du Soleil. In 1987, drawn by Cirque's creativity and audacity, Andrew Watson joined the team of We Reinvent the Circus, the show that was to be the Quebec circus troupe's first major North American tour. Throughout his career as a Cirque du Soleil acrobat, Andrew Watson won several honours and awards, including the Clown d'argent at the Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo, in 1990. He left the ring in 1990, and subsequently held the positions of director of casting and artist training, artistic coordinator and artistic director. From 1994 to 1999, he was involved mainly in the shows Saltimbanco, Alegría and Quidam.

    In 1999, he decided to go back to London to live and work. Joining the New Millennium Experience Company, he designed the aerial acts and trained the acrobatic artists for the New Millennium Dome Central Show, presented in London as part of the year-2000 festivities. In 2001, he came back to Montreal with his family in order to oversee the creation of Varekai.

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  • Stéphane Roy

    Set Designer

    A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada, Stéphane Roy has worked as both a set designer and artistic director on over 100 productions in Montreal and abroad. While mainly active in theatre and dance, he has also worked in film, television, advertising and variety shows.

    Over the years Stéphane’s career has led to close working relationships with a number of directors and arts companies: He created the sets for several plays presented at Espace Go and the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde in Montreal and since 1990 he has designed sets for dance productions by such internationally-acclaimed dance troupes as La La La Human Steps and O Vertigo.

    Given that professional background, plus an architect father, a mother active in theatre and a unique social and artistic approach to performance space, it was perhaps inevitable that Stéphane would gravitate toward Cirque du Soleil, a relationship that began with the creation of Dralion, and continued with Varekai, Zumanity, KOOZA and now, Zarkana.

    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.

    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.

    "In the lyrical, fantastic world of Zarkana, the setting, an abandoned decrepit theatre, is a character in its own right,” says Stéphane Roy. “The walls breathe, move and sing. In terms of aesthetics, we are at the beginning of the last century, between 1910 and 1930, midway between Gaudí, Klimt and Art Nouveau. The organic shapes are a nod to the master French glassmaker and jeweler René Lalique."

    Stéphane Roy lives in Montreal.

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  • Eiko Ishioka

    Costume Designer

    As a visual artist whose career spans several fields, Eiko Ishioka has created some of the most remarkable works of our time. She is one of the rare artists honoured in the West with an Academy Award, a Cannes Film Festival award, a Grammy Award and a Tony nomination, after having won some of the most prestigious art direction and graphic design awards in her native Japan. In 1999, she designed the costumes for the film The Cell, starring Jennifer Lopez, as well as publishing the book Eiko on Stage, which focuses on her stage and screen work.

    Eiko Ishioka's talent was revealed to the North American public thanks to the Oscar-winning costumes she designed for Bram Stoker's Dracula, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. "Like all great artists in the world, Eiko understands what's going on in other cultures besides her own, and by immersing herself in them, she is able to create works that are unique blends. Her work transcends boundaries on many levels, since she refuses to stick to one particular medium or set convention," attests the director of Apocalypse Now.

    In fact, it was Coppola who invited Eiko Ishioka to her first Cirque du Soleil performance. Varekai marks her début in the world of the circus arts. As she explains, "After the publication of Eiko on Stage, I wanted to explore new horizons. This proposal came at a perfect time and I was seduced immediately since, as a spectator, I had already fallen under the spell of Cirque du Soleil." She adds that, "with Cirque du Soleil, I've discovered a new creative universe, which I embraced right from the start. Together, we're building a shared dream."

    Over the course of her career, Eiko Ishioka has left her mark in a variety of artistic fields, winning acclaim as an art director and graphic designer, production and costume designer, and museum exhibit designer, among other things. In 1983, she published a retrospective of her graphic design and art direction work entitled Eiko by Eiko. Ishioka was chosen as a keynote speaker for the 1998 International Design Conference in Aspen, Colorado, and is in high demand as a lecturer around the world. In 2001, she designed racing uniforms and outerwear for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. She also directed the music video for the single"Cocoon", from Björk's album Vespertine.

    Her long list of accolades garnered in the West includes the 1985 Cannes Film Festival Award for Artistic Contribution for her production design work on the Paul Schrader film Mishima, Tony nominations in 1988 for the sets and costumes of the play M. Butterfly, and a 1987 Grammy Award for the artwork on the Miles Davis album Tutu. Eiko Ishioka is a laureate of the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and her work is included in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

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  • Violaine Corradi

    作曲及音樂總監

    Violaine 生於意大利的里雅斯特,四歲時移居蒙特利爾。她的父親是一名作曲家及指 揮家,其母為歌劇歌唱家。為繼承家族傳統,她接受了古典音樂的培訓,包括唱歌、 鋼琴、單簧管及長笛。她七歲時加入兒童合唱團,並與 Bolshoi Opera、Milan Scala 及 Opéra du Québec 於蒙特利爾的 Place des Arts 表演。

    後來,Violaine 修讀戲劇,並主力發展鋼琴及唱歌。她的音樂造詣不斷發展,混入不同的 音樂風格及融合世界各地的音樂,成為她創作的獨有風格。她以電子鍵盤開創出另類的 搖滾樂,現主力發展世界音樂,亦參與 Cyberjam,以音樂暢遊世界。

    自 1999 年第一次為太陽劇團的《超越極限》(Dralion)創作後,Violaine 繼續為劇團的 IMAX 電影 Bears and Great North 原聲大碟作曲、編曲及監製,並於 2001 年巴黎的 Festival du Film de la Géode 中獲獎。之後,Violaine 繼續為《夢幻人生》(Varekai)創作。

    除了作曲之外,Violaine 亦為音樂師試音及為太陽劇團監製音樂。Violaine 表示︰「在馬戲 表演中,設計師就好像雜耍表演者一樣,被掉進空無一物的空間內,同時,集體創作亦 為設計師提供一個安全網。」

    Violaine 的作品充分反映出她能匯集各方精髓及特色。她曾為不同的展覽及電影創作。 由1993至1998年,她為多首魁北克詩歌譜寫樂曲,並結集成專輯 Poésie/musique, 當中的九首作品更大受法語系的市場歡迎。Violaine 於 1996 年創作的個人專輯 Passage (包括 Illuminations)亦包括不同音樂人的作品,例如 Philip Glass、Jon Anderson 及 Andreas Vollenweider。

    自 1999 年起, Violaine 為 IMAX 電影 Bears and Great North 的原聲大碟作曲、編曲及擔任 音樂總監,並於 2001 年巴黎的 Festival du Film de la Géode 中獲獎。

    Violaine 為《ZAIA》創作的音樂是繼《超越極限》(Dralion)及《夢幻人生》(Varekai)後, 第三次與太陽劇團合作的作品。Violaine 認為︰「太陽劇團的創作人就好像雜耍人在空中 表演一樣。而我們的安全網便是集體創作。導演 Gilles Maheu 為《ZAIA》帶來不少靈感, 對我來說是非常有用的。我經常以各人物的主題作為創作靈感,因為每事每物均源於他 們。」

    Violaine 在 1959 年於意大利的里雅斯特出生。

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  • Michael Montanaro

    Choreographer

    Michael Montanaro defines himself as a multidisciplinary artist and an artisan. He uses acting, music and video as his means of expression, but is best known both in Canada and abroad for his contributions to the world of dance. Between 1980 and 1985, with Groupe de la Place Royale, and from 1985 to 1996, with his troupe, Montanaro Danse, this choreographer's creations appeared on major Canadian stages and at leading cultural events in France, England, the United States and Singapore. Montanaro created 15 choreographic works in all for Groupe de la Place Royale when Jean-Pierre Perreault was at its helm, and as artistic director, dancer and composer for Montanaro Danse, created 12 shows that incorporated new technology into contemporary dance. During the 1990s, Montanaro also worked with the Opéra de Montréal, Montreal's Centaur Theatre, the National Film Board of Canada, and Discreet Logic, a company that specializes in computer-assisted animation.

    Michael Montanaro grew up in the French-speaking neighbourhood of a small New England town. He got his introduction to the stage by taking part in the community's folk music ensemble. After dance studies at Hartford Conservatory and a stint with the Boston Ballet, he set off for Quebec, in search of adventure. When he crossed the border in 1974, Montanaro had only seven suitcases, a television and high hopes of finding his place in the Montreal dance milieu. A few months later, Fernand Nault, then director of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, took Montanaro under his wing. Montreal was to become Montanaro's home base.

    Since the mid-1990s, he has played a role in training the next generation of dancers at Université du Québec à Montréal, Concordia University, and the University of Calgary, and was choreographer in residence at Arizona State University's Institute for Studies in the Arts. In 1999, he became acting chair of the Contemporary Dance Department at Concordia University in Montreal. In 2001, the invitation from Cirque du Soleil for Varekai and the guarantee of a solid replacement as department head prompted him to take a sabbatical from his university career.

    Michael Montanaro wants his creations to reach the wider public. For this reason, his choreographies are light years away from the darkness and obscurity often associated with contemporary dance. "The circus is a festive art, without being trivial. Like a magnet, it pulls us away from our day-to-day problems for a moment, toward a universe where everything is possible. It's much more than just entertainment," says Montanaro.

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  • Bill Shannon

    Choreographer

    For more than ten years, Bill Shannon has been making his mark on the most prestigious alternative stages in the U.S. and around the world, and waking up the streets of New York and Chicago with his kinetic exploits. As well as being a renowned dancer and choreographer, this Brooklyn resident expresses himself through video, writing, drawing and installations. Bill regularly presents shows in the United States and at contemporary art and dance festivals in France, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Finland and Jordan. He has a bachelor's degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

    Bill Shannon is a self-styled interdisciplinary artist, but he is known in the club dance world as "the CrutchMaster." He has invented a unique technique for dancing on crutches—the Shannon Technique—that derives from his extensive experience in their use as a mobility aid. In fact, until Varekai, he was the only practitioner of this technique. "In my choreography, I aim to merge the Shannon Technique with freestyle street dancing, skateboarding and silent film poetics," he explains.

    Numerous awards and distinctions have recognized the avant-garde quality of Shannon's creations. Since 2000, he has received the Downtown Art/Colbert Foundation's Emerging Arts Award, as well as grants from the Foundation for Contemporary Performance Art and the Jerome Foundation, and has twice been supported by the Fund for US Artists at International Festivals.

    "My favourite place for experimentation and expression is the street. It allows for chance encounters and discoveries, both human and artistic, that couldn't be designed or planned in a million years," he says.

    Bill Shannon was born in 1970 and is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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  • Jaque Paquin

    Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer

    There’s no formal training for a profession like Jaque Paquin’s. “To do it, you have to do it,” he says. Jaque studied art history (specializing in film) and electronics in school, and began his career in the arts working as a lighting technician at the age of 14. The following year, he opened a disco.

    He went on to work as a stage technician in theatre, a set painter in film, a grip in television and, finally, as a carpenter, team leader and project head in a set construction workshop for theatre and variety shows. "I've worked in nearly all of the trades plied by the people who build and operate my equipment," he says. “So I make an effort to facilitate the work of the technicians and the artists.”

    Jaque joined Cirque du Soleil in 1990 as head of the construction workshop, where he created aerial environments for such shows as Saltimbanco, Dralion, Varekai, Zumanity, KÀ and “O”. From 1991 to 1996, he was Technical Director for the North American tour of Saltimbanco, and he was the show’s Technical Director when it toured Europe and Japan. In 1995 and 1996, he was director of all installations for the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and the FrancoFolies de Montréal.

    His imagination, artistic flair, and technical skill conjured up the fantastic boat in "O" – a piece of acrobatic equipment that brings together three techniques never before combined in the history of circus arts: the parallel bars, the Korean cradle and the flying trapeze.

    Whether working on the rigging for a show or as head of research and development for Cirque du Soleil's acrobatic equipment, Jaque is constantly on the lookout for ways to give a new look to a wide variety of circus arts. However, he says, “There’s never any compromise for safety. If an artistic vision can be achieved only by lowering the safety standards, then that element of the show will be dropped.”

    For CRISS ANGEL Believe™, Jaque Paquin has designed the equipment used in the illusions as well as the rigging for all of the scenic equipment (sound, lighting and set decorations). "We’ve developed unprecedented techniques, especially for the magic numbers," he says. “I like to say that this show contains some of my best inventions that I will never be able to talk about."

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  • Nol van Genuchten

    Lighting Designer

    Varekai is Nol van Genuchten's baptism of fire as lighting designer for a Cirque du Soleil show. It is also the fulfilment of a dream he has pursued since the age of 14, when he followed a neighbourhood theatre troupe on its tour of the Netherlands . "I am a child of the circus," he says jokingly. Nol van Genuchten has been a member of the Cirque du Soleil family for over twelve years, working in French, English, Dutch and German.

    Initially hired in 1994 as a lighting technician for the European tour of Saltimbanco, he subsequently joined the team as lighting co-ordinator, a position he held until the end of the tour. In 1996, he became the assistant to lighting designer Luc Lafortune. "Luc has been my mentor, my enabler, and my guru. It is to him that I owe the privilege of being a full participant in the Cirque du Soleil creative process." Nol van Genuchten collaborated on the creation of "O", La Nouba and Dralion . In 1999, he also had a hand in the renewal of the lighting concepts for Saltimbanco, Alegría and Quidam.

    Since 1999, Nol van Genuchten has designed the lighting for several special events organized by Cirque du Soleil. But he views his participation in Varekai as a precious gift. "It's a fascinating journey, in that the designers on the team come from a variety of backgrounds, including circus, theatre, visual arts, and music. But it also gives me the jitters at times, because I've had to discover the designer within me and make my own way."

    In order to stretch the possibilities of light, Nol van Genuchten strives to develop a close relationship with the artists. Their universe is one he already knows well, having studied acting and directing at Rijkshogeschool Maastricht, a prestigious theatre school in the Netherlands . After a year of training, he went back to his first love: lighting for live shows, notably those of Dutch humorist Paul Haenen.

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  • François Bergeron

    Sound Designer

    François Bergeron has been designing sound for Cirque du Soleil for more than 20 years. His creations (Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Quidam, "O", La Nouba, Varekai and ZED) have toured the world, earning him multiple awards, including "Sound Designer of the Year,” for multimedia facilities at the Nike flagship store in New York and Cirque du Soleil’s Quidam. He was part of the creation team that won a THEA Award for “O” in Las Vegas.

    Since moving to Los Angeles in 1993, François has designed the sound for numerous variety shows, plays, musicals, theme parks and museum experiences. He took part in the creation of the Tokyo DisneySea theme park and Templo del Fuego (Universal Studios Port Aventura in Spain), an assignment that eventually led to the creation of his own company, Thinkwell Design & Production. François regularly works on projects throughout the US, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

    "The soundscape can elicit powerful emotions within a Cirque show,” he says. “It can warn of impending danger, heighten tension or trigger laughter. It is impossible to escape its influence. My challenge as the Sound Designer is to create an atmosphere that conveys the intentions of the director, highlights the music and support the artists."

    “To create the sound environment of IRIS, we used tools and techniques that are poles apart,” he adds. “On the one hand, we designed and installed an advanced sound system. On the other, we took a purely organic approach to create some of the sound effects, using anything we could lay our hands on. It’s a mixture of advanced digital technology and old-school know-how. This is our tribute to the film artisans.”

    François Bergeron was born in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec.

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  • Francis Laporte

    Images and Projections Designer

    Video Projections Designer Francis Laporte belongs to the new generation of creators who integrate digital video production and projection technology with more traditional live show forms. Since finishing university in 1992, he has worked on some 20 projects integrating video with the performing arts and theatre. One of his landmark professional assignments was the video design for a stage adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey directed by Dominic Champagne. He also does performances and installations, both alone and with other artists.

    As a projections designer, Francis Laporte can make good use of his diverse training. After studying communications and drama in college, he entered the theatre program at the Université du Québec, specializing in directing and stage design. His interest in images led him to video and multimedia production. “In drama, I looked at shows from the director’s point of view, whereas in video my approach was more theatrical. As a video designer for live shows, I’m finally working on bringing these media together,” he says.

    Francis Laporte also creates images for prestigious television broadcasts, such as the opening ceremonies of the Jeux de la Francophonie and the awards ceremony La Soirée des Jutra. In 2003-2004 he developed the visual concept for Eros Ramazzotti’s show (directed by Serge Denoncourt) and created the set design and visual concept for a performance of the Fantastic Symphony by Berlioz at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles. He has also taken on the stage design for live concerts, including Quebec singer-cellist Jorane and singer-songwriter Stefie Shock.

    In 1999, Francis Laporte created the multimedia overture for Dralion. But Varekai was the first Cirque du Soleil show to fully incorporate this new artistic language. He further extended his approach in LOVE, Wintuk and now in CRISS ANGEL Believe. “At Cirque du Soleil, we have the great good fortune of working in a context where everything isn’t seen in terms of constraints; instead there’s a shared determination to see how far we can push the limits,” he notes.

    "Visually, my role is to give the dimension of perspective and depth to the world of CRISS ANGEL Believe," says Francis Laporte. “The projections help to give the various environments a ‘Gothic/Victorian' flavor by blending the mysterious with the grandiose, the bizarre and the sublime. The core intention of the projections is to play with the perceptions, creating a kind of playful dialogue between the real and the virtual."

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  • Cahal McCrystal

    Clown Act Creator

    Since 1996, Cahal McCrystal has devoted himself full time to creating and directing shows for various European theatre companies. He's one of the few British directors to focus almost exclusively on clown comedies. The clown acts he has created for Zumanity mark his second association with Cirque du Soleil: in 2002, he was part of the creative team that worked on Varekai.

    Cahal's plays, written for major British theatre companies such as Spymonkey, Peepolykus, and The Boosh comedy duo, have touched audiences worldwide and kept them rolling in the aisles.

    In 2000, his play Stiff, staged for Spymonkey, won the Total Theatre Award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. It was also named best act at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. The Mighty Boosh, launched at the 1998 Edinburgh Fringe Festival garnered the Perrier Award for Best New Comedy. Although critics have compared his characters to those of Mel Brooks, Monty Python and the Marx Brothers, Cahal's true goal is to create clowns with their own distinct personalities.

    "My job is to bring out the clown in actors and this clown emerges when you play up their personal foibles. This requires a great deal of humility and generosity on the part of the actors. But it's also highly gratifying. We admire people for their successes, but we love them for their weaknesses. That's why we adore clowns—they show us their very human and silly sides!"

    Before becoming a full-time director, this graduate of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama had a prolific 15-year acting career in theatre, film, television and radio. In the late '80s, Swiss writer, director and actor Philippe Byland invited Cahal to join his company. It was also in London that Cahal met his future mentor Philippe Gaulier, the dean of French theatre, who cast him in At the End of the Tunnel. One day, he would attend a show that truly blew him away—Cirque du Soleil's We Reinvent the Circus.

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  • André Simard

    特技表演設計

    André Simard has been working with Cirque du Soleil since 1987. That year, he created a swinging trapeze act for the show Nouvelle Expérience, sparking a genuine revolution in high-flying aerial movement. Under his direction, the acrobatic feats performed by artists in motion somewhere between Earth and sky, either in a theatre or under a big top, achieved the fluidity of ballet. Between 1989 and 2000, 13 of the acts he created for Cirque du Soleil, the National Circus School and his own company of artists, Studio de création les gens d'R, garnered accolades in festivals attended by the finest circus artists from all over the world.

    The new circus arts are indebted to Simard for his creation of the discipline of aerial silk acrobatics in 1995. Another example of technological and choreographic innovation, stemming from his collaboration with acrobatic apparatus designer Jaque Paquin, was the Boat act in "O". As well, Simard has designed most of the aerial acts in the shows that Cirque performs around the world.

    For over 30 years, Andr�� Simard has succeeded in striking a harmonious balance between his three areas of expertise: the fine arts, elite sports, and the circus. In the early 1970s, he was a member of Canada's national gymnastics team while a student at the Institut des arts graphiques de Montréal. In addition, while preparing to compete in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, he trained clowns and other public entertainers at the Centre Immaculée-Conception in Montréal, a forerunner of the National Circus School. In his own words, he is "constantly trying to meld the rules of biomechanics, as applied to athletic training, with the evocative power of the performing arts." This approach has also infused his teaching at the National Circus School, as well as at the Centre national des arts du cirque de Châlons-sur-Marne and the École nationale de Cirque de Rosny-sous-Bois, both in France.

    In 1995 he founded the Studio de création les gens d'R in Montréal, an artistic endeavor that affords him the opportunity to push the envelope of emotional expression through aerial movement. In 2001 this troupe gave the world premiere performance of Échos in Venice. The show was commissioned by the organizers of that city's celebrated Biennale arts festival.

    "For CRISS ANGEL Believe, I’ve come up with a way for the dervish characters to spin by hiding ropes inside their costumes," he says. "I've also introduced acrobatic elements into the stilt walkers’ dance numbers, and I’ve devised a motorized acrobatic mechanism for the character of Kayala: When she emerges from her flower to do her hoop routine, she grabs hold of the petals, which in reality are made out of transparent flexible PVC tubes built into her costume."

    André Simard was born in 1945 in Montreal.

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  • Nathalie Gagné

    化妝設計師

    化妝設計師 Nathalie Gagné 從小已對化妝著迷,她深信化妝對演員的影嚮。Nathalie 於 加拿大魁北克省的 Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe 攻讀戲劇製作,其後更成為著名巴黎化妝學 校 École Christian Chauveau 蒙特利爾分校的首屆畢業生。

    Nathalie 在加入太陽劇團之前,曾於不同劇團、電影及電視機構工作。她曾兩度獲 得 Gémeau 獎項(所有類別)的最佳化妝提名。這項榮譽是由加拿大電影及電視學院 (Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television)所頒授。

    Nathalie 說:「化妝是靈魂的反映,它猶如魔杖一樣,能揮走一切被掩蓋的東西。」由 1995 起,Nathalie 為太陽劇團設計超過200多款不同類型的化妝,而最終設計都是由 2,000 多個草圖中揀選出來。

    由於太陽劇團的表演者均需要自行化妝,Nathalie會邀請他們一同參與台上的化妝創 作。Nathalie 說:「由於雜技表演者有別於一般演員,他們不習慣進一步了解自己的臉 孔,我的其中一個目標就是教曉他們了解臉孔,幫助雜技表演者尋找他們臉上的『引力 紋理』(lines of force)以建立他們的個人特質。」

    Nathalie 同時亦負責確保所有化妝都富有她的特色與及完整性。由於表演者都需要自行 化妝,因此化妝技巧工作坊成為太陽劇團為表演者提供的基本訓練的一環。Nathalie會 先教會表演者如何自行化妝,然後為他們寫下各個步驟。

    Nathalie 於《神秘境界》(Mystère)、《飛躍之旅》(Alegría)及《藝界人生》(Saltimbanco)運用了全新的化妝概念,更促使了她與導演 Franco Dragone 及服裝設計師 Dominique Lemieux 的合作。繼 Nathalie 曾參與的《奇幻之旅》(Quidam)、《“O”》、《夢幻嘉年華》(La Nouba)、《Varekai》、《人類動物園》(ZUMANITY)、《KÀ》、《歡宴人生》(Corteo)、《虛擬幻境》(DELIRIUM)和《LOVE》,《ZAIA》將成為她與太陽劇團的第十個製作。

    Nathalie 說:「我透過多姿多彩的化妝設計刻畫了《ZAIA 》不同角色的人性特徵。同時,我亦希望塑造出相似的相貌以突顯不同族群。由於部份表演者擔領多個角色及需要迅速變換扮相,為他們變換妝容實在是一個挑戰。因此,我運用了許多自然色調的面譜 讓表演者更容易為不同的表演改變妝容。」

    Nathalie 於 1963 年生於魁北克省的 Trois-Pistoles。

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