Dominic Champagne

Over the last 20 years, Dominic Champagne, multi-talented and prolific artist, playwright, director, scriptwriter and actor, as well as the co-founder and artistic director of the Théâtre Il Va Sans Dire, has made his mark on a hundred or more shows, both on stage and on television. These include theatrical productions such as LOVE, L'Odyssée (The Odyssey), Don Quichotte (Don Quixote), Cabaret Neiges Noires (Black Snow Cabaret) and La Cité Interdite (The Forbidden City) as well as television series “Les Grands Procès” (“The Great Court Cases”) and “Le Plaisir croît avec l'usage“ (“Familiarity Breeds Enjoyment”).

For Cirque du Soleil, in addition to LOVE, created in collaboration with the Beatles in 2006, he has directed Varekai, on tour the world over since 2002, and Zumanity,showing in Las Vegas since 2003. With regard to television, as well as adapting several of his own plays, Dominic has worked on several drama series and variety shows, including “Les grands procès,” “Le plaisir croît avec l'usage,” Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations, the opening ceremonies of the Francophone Games, “Tous unis contre le SIDA” (“United Against AIDS”), the “Soirée des Masques” theatre awards gala, and more.

Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada, he has won a host of awards and honours for his work, including the Order of Canada, Gémeau awards (for best direction and best dramatic writing), Masque awards for best adaptation and audience appreciation, the Critics' Prize, as well as the Montreal Urban Community's Grand Prize for theatre. The CD of LOVE, which he worked on, received two Grammy Awards, including the award for Best Compilation Soundtrack Album.

He is a member of several arts-based think-tanks, associations and boards of directors. He has also taught and lectured, in particular at the National Theatre School , the Conservatoire d'art dramatique de Montréal, Concordia University , Princeton University and elsewhere.

La Presse newspaper and Radio-Canada recognized Dominic Champagne's “immense talent” when they named him “Personality of the Year 2006.”

  • Dominic Champagne
  • Montreal
  • Director

What is your approach with the actors when working on Cirque du Soleil projects?

I begin creating my shows by trying to explain the plot of a story or the procedure of a ritual to myself. The narrative thread of this plot or procedure becomes my beacon, and the characters who play in it are my guides. Therefore, the actors are the key to this new universe waiting to be created.

What is the most interesting aspect of working with actors from different walks of life and cultural backgrounds? What are the challenges?

The stage at Cirque du Soleil is a meeting place for different cultures and traditions. Mixing and combining different talents from different backgrounds creates an infinitely rich tapestry. It is a place that is full of both surprises and new experiences, but it also gives you the privileged challenge to become a true citizen of the world. And the stage becomes the ship that sails through a fabulous human odyssey.

How would you describe your creative philosophy?

I gather artists around my idea for a show, which is a sort of utopia to which we all try to give the very best of ourselves; I want to enchant people with the power of this dream and inspire us all to become better human beings. I see devoting oneself to a show as both a duty and a privilege. And there's nothing like giving it your best shot.

How do you see the role played by actors at Cirque du Soleil?

When an actor, through his very presence and sensitive interpretation, manages to deliver as strong a performance as an acrobat, he becomes the dazzling link in the audience's relationship with the impossible utopia and the power of the larger-than-life story unfolding on stage.

What do you find most stimulating about working for or with Cirque du Soleil?

The dream's endless possibilities. The privilege of being at the heart of so many crossroads. The thought of a vast audience demanding a universal language and. . . perfection!

What advice would you give a future Cirque du Soleil actor?

Creating a role at Cirque du Soleil is similar to climbing Mount Everest . It's a colossal challenge, an intoxicating journey, a glimpse of new and boundless horizons, a feeling of pride and satisfaction on the same scale as the heroic efforts you put into it. But the journey has to be made one step at a time; the real feeling of vertigo comes when you look deep inside yourself to let your talent shine through. So. . . be yourself and have fun!