Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil

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Set design


Creating an organic space and interpreting nature

Designer Gringo Cardia was inspired by the concept of transformation, but he didn’t set out to copy nature so much as interpret it. “I wanted people inside the Big Top to see the world through the eyes of insects,” he says. “And to accomplish that I played with scale.” Gringo also drew inspiration from the structures that certain species of insect create when they establish nests and colonies.

Gringo has worked closely on many dance productions with OVO director Deborah Colker and they are used to a cross-pollination of ideas. He has contributed content to the show and she has brought ideas to the set design – neither approaches their role in isolation.

The overall setting of OVO is a stylized habitat that is home to the insects. At times it is a forest, at other times, a cave – or it could even be a house. Gringo’s objective was to create an organic environment that could lead to many other places.

Some facts

  • The Wall measures 60ft wide by 20ft tall. It is supported only on the sides to allow a floor with built-in trampolines to slide in and out like an enormous drawer.
  • The larger of the two skins covering the world of OVO measures 75ft wide by 50ft tall.
  • Three long poles weighing 80lb evoke dandelion stalks. Their spines allow artists to climb them like ladders.
  • The waterfall uses dry ice to recreate water and the morning dew.
  • The egg, which is inflatable, measures 28ft wide by 22ft tall.


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