Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil
Close

Cirque Club

 

Cirque Club

Welcome
 
 
 

Creators

 

Creators

  • Dominic Champagne

    Writer and Director

    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.

     Read More  Hide 
  • René Richard Cyr

    Writer and Director

    René Richard Cyr is one of the most versatile and prolific creators on the Quebec cultural scene. For 20 years, this acting graduate from Canada 's National Theatre School has pursued simultaneous careers as an actor, director, writer and producer in theatre, television, film and music. He has participated in over one hundred productions—both on stage and behind the scenes—with notable success in all fields.

    This is Cyr's first creative alliance with Cirque du Soleil, where he is working in tandem with long-time collaborator Dominic Champagne on the writing and directing of Zumanity. In the past, the two have repeatedly teamed up to design the huge outdoor event celebrating La Fête Nationale, Quebec 's national holiday. They are also credited with the creation and artistic direction of Le plaisir croît avec l'usage, a TV program broadcast on Télé-Québec and hosted by Cyr. The program has won two Gémeaux (an award for excellence in Canadian French-language television production) for best variety show. The ongoing success of this dynamic duo stems from a natural affinity between two good friends—who also happen to be creative masters.

    A man of many talents, Cyr is as eclectic as he is productive. As a theatre director, he frequently spotlights new works while staging memorable versions of well-known classics. He has also (among other things) directed numerous comedies, variety shows and theatre galas, and has even lent his lustre to musical theatre.

    "I've put rock 'n ' roll into my theatre productions and theatre into my rock shows. But one recurring theme marks my artistic choices: the desire to give a voice to new talent," says the director. Since 1998, Cyr has been artistic director and managing co-director of Montreal 's Théâtre d'Aujourd'hui, an institution committed to producing Quebec drama.

    The variety of awards showered upon this virtuoso testifies to the quality of his work in diverse cultural milieus. In 1985, 1986 and 1991, Cyr was honoured by the Quebec music industry association (ADISQ) for three different shows—one of them a Céline Dion production which netted him the "Director of the Year" award. In the 1990s, he twice won the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde's best direction award, while two more prizes (one awarded in Quebec , the other in Italy ) recognized his excellent acting in Michel Tremblay's Hosanna. The Quebec arm of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television also nominated Cyr for a Gémeau in two different categories: best direction on a short film debut, and best host of a televised series.

    More recently, his accomplished directing of the play The Man of La Mancha, by Dale Wasserman, Joe Darion, and Mitch Leigh, earned him two prestigious awards from the public and his peers at the 2003 Gala of the Académie québécoise du théâtre.

    René Richard Cyr was born in Montreal in 1958.

     Read More  Hide 
  • 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.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Thierry Mugler

    Creator and Costume Designer

    Thierry Mugler is a French artist who is very well-reputed in the world of fashion and haute couture. He was a professional dancer starting at age 14 at the Opéra du Rhin, and the surpassing of the body and the love of performance are recurring themes in all his work: an accent is placed on the shoulders, women's bodies are flattered, and men's bodies are regarded with the same rigour.

    If clothing has been an integral part of Thierry Mugler's life, it was to take it to the next level: over almost thirty years, this born director has created a hundred or so spectacular shows attended by up to 13,000 people, including events at the Zénith, the Budo Kan and the Cirque d'Hiver. The international success of Thierry Mugler perfumes, launched in 1992, serves only to confirm his incredible talent.

    Thierry Mugler is also the author of short films, advertising films, photos and music videos. Thierry Mugler's collaboration with the Cirque du Soleil team for Zumanity caused a sensation in the worlds of fashion and show business!

     Read More  Hide 
  • Stéphane Roy

    Set Designer

    Stéphane Roy has worked as both a set designer and artistic director on over 100 productions in Montreal and abroad among which L’Odyssée, directed by Quebec playwright Dominic Champagne, at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde (2002), and Les Âmes mortes, directed by Gilles Maheu, at Carbone 14 in Montreal (1996). Since 1990 he has designed sets for dance productions by such internationally-acclaimed dance troupes as La La La Human Steps and O Vertigo.While primarily active in theatre and dance, he has also worked in film, television, advertising and variety shows. 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 in 2011. 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. For Cirque du Soleil, Stéphane designed the set for Dralion, Varekai, Zumanity, KOOZA, Zarkana and KURIOS – Cabinet of curiosities.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Simon Carpentier

    Composer and Arranger

    Composer Simon Carpentier, best known for his film and TV scores, has previosuly worked on the Cirque du Soleil shows Zumanity and Wintuk. He took his first piano lessons at the age of seven and began his professional career in Quebec City, where his personal recording studio was next door to a rehearsal studio used by musicians working in all genres.

    Simon first made his mark writing music for commercials and picked up more than 20 Quebec and international awards between 1989 and 1997. In 1989, he received a Mobius Award, an international prize handed out in Chicago for the music used in cinema advertising.

    His name appears in the credits of a dozen or so films, including Ladies Room, starring John Malkovich, and he has worked on numerous TV shows for a variety of networks, including TV5. In 2000 he composed the score for the 72-episode teen drama series Big Wolf On Campus which has been broadcast in 150 countries.

    In 1999, Simon recorded Amerindian singer Genevieve McKenzie’s album Shanipiap at the Sept-Îles reserve in Quebec. And in 2004, his spellbinding music was a major factor in the success of Italian quick-change genius Arturo Brachetti’s one-man show. His artistic curiosity and versatility recently led him to reinterpret the music of S. Alfonso dei Liguori and combine it with the words of Claude Péloquin, one of Quebec’s greatest poets. He has also created a series of albums of music for babies that have sold in more than 30 countries.

    Simon Carpentier was born in 1965 in Quebec.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Debra Brown

    Choreographer

    Debra Brown is world renowned for her unique choreographies blending acrobatics and dance. She joined Cirque du Soleil in 1987 as a choreographer for We Reinvent the Circus and went on to choreograph the shows Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Corteo, one act in Zumanity, ZED, Zarkana, Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour and Amaluna. She has also worked with artists and groups from a wide variety of disciplines including the 1990 Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain (Paris), the John Corigliano’s opera The Ghosts of Versailles, presented at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and Wagner’s Ring Cycle, put on by the Lyric Opera of Chicago. In 1994, Debra created and produced Apogée, a 50-minute trampoline-based ballet which premiered in Toronto and was also presented in both Los Angeles and San Francisco at “Passport ’96,” an AIDS benefit hosted by Elizabeth Taylor and Magic Johnson. In 1995, she worked with Luciano Pavarotti on the Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Fille du Régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) in New York. Debra also choreographed Aerosmith’s Jaded video and energetic performance for the American Music Awards in 2001, as well as Madonna’s Drowned world tour. Debra has worked with major musical acts such as Shakira, Wyclef Jean, Céline Dion and Madonna. Her film work includes Catwoman, Van Helsing and Barney’s Great Adventure. She received the Innovative Choreography Award in honour of her exceptional contribution to choreography and dance at the 14th Bob Fosse Awards in Los Angeles in 1997. In 2002, she received an Emmy Award for her choreography of an act created by Cirque du Soleil for the Academy Awards.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Yanis Marshall

    Choreographer

    yanis-marshall

     Read More  Hide 
  • Luc Lafortune

    Lighting Designer

    In directing the lighting for the show KÀ, Luc Lafortune is contributing to his twelfth creation with Cirque du Soleil. He has been associated with Cirque du Soleil since its beginnings in 1984. That year, he was hired as a lighting technician backstage. The following year, he was at the lighting control booth for the young troupe's eight-month tour. In 1986, he became the lighting designer. Since then, his lighting creations have toured the world.

    At Cirque du Soleil, his creator's resumé includes the shows We Reinvent the Circus, Fascination, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystère, Alegría, Quidam, "O", La Nouba, Dralion, Varekai and Zumanity. He was also co-director of photography for the video recording of the show Quidam.

    In 2002, he worked with director Robert Lepage to design the lighting for British singer Peter Gabriel's world tour, Growing Up. Many other internationally successful artists and groups have called upon his talents. Since 1996, he has worked with, among others, No Doubt, The Eagles, Gipsy Kings and Swiss circus Salto Natale.

    Luc Lafortune studied theatre production at Concordia University in Montreal . He was originally interested in set design. "One day, during rehearsal, I discovered the ability of light to redefine a space, to make a strong contribution to the image and spirit of a show," he says. The experience inspired a passion that still permeates his work today.

    The excellence of his work has garnered him many awards. In 1992, his lighting design for the show Saltimbanco earned him a Drama-Logue Theater Award, given by critics from the California-based theatre magazine of that name. In 1994, he was chosen as designer of the year by the magazine Lighting Dimensions International (LDI). In 1997, the Martin Professionals show The Atomic Lounge, for which Luc Lafortune was artistic director, won the LDI for best light show. In 1998, he took an Entertainment Design Award for his lighting design for the show "O".

    Luc Lafortune is regularly invited as a speaker to share his knowledge and thoughts with students and professionals all over the world.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Jonathan Deans

    Sound Designer

    Jonathan Deans is one of the most sought-after live entertainment sound designers in the world. As a young man, he joined the Royal Shakespeare Company as an actor but had also a keen interest in sound and so began to blend with a theatrical context. Several years later, after a spell as a sound engineer in the music industry, notably at Morgan Studios where he brushed shoulders with artists such as Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and Rick Wakeman, he made his way back to the theatre via the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and later went on to mix the sound for the musical A Chorus Line. One success soon followed another, and he became the sound mixing engineer for dozens of London’s West End productions. Jonathan’s success as a mixing sound engineer led to him being hired as sound designer on the musical Marilyn. This was followed by work on other productions as Designer on Time, Les Misérables, Mutiny, Jean Seberg to mention a few. Over a decade later he relocated in America where he has designed systems and productions for theme parks, stadiums, arenas and Broadway productions including Ragtime, Fosse, King David, Damn Yankees, Taboo, Brooklyn, Lestat, Pirate Queen, Young Frankenstein, La Cage Aux Folles, Spiderman, and Priscilla Queen of the Desert. With Michael Jackson ONE Jonathan is creating the sound system and the audio environment of his 14th Cirque du Soleil show since Saltimbanco in 1992.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Peter Thompson

    Projection Designer

     Read More  Hide 
  • Keith Sadowski

    Projection Designer

     Read More  Hide 
  • Jorge Salomone

    Projection Designer

     Read More  Hide 
  • Nathalie Gagné

    Makeup Designer

    Nathalie Gagné was one of the first graduates of the Montreal branch of the famed Paris-based makeup school École Christian Chauveau. Before joining Cirque du Soleil, Nathalie worked in theatre, film and television. She has twice been nominated for a Gémeau award for best makeup, all categories combined. The honor is conferred by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Since 1995 Nathalie has crafted more than 1,000 separate makeup designs for 16 Cirque du Soleil shows. In 2010, Nathalie designed the makeup for the play Il Campiello by Carlo Goldoni, directed by Serge Denoncourt, and for the 3D movie Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away produced by James Cameron and directed by Andrew Adamson in 2012.

     Read More  Hide 
  • 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."

     Read More  Hide 
  • Danny Zen

    Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer

    Danny Zen first arrived at Cirque du Soleil in 1990 to work as a welder in the company's workshops. That same year he went on the first European tour of Le Cirque Réinventé, then moved on to Nouvelle Expérience on which he worked as a welder, assembler, mechanic and head usher. In 1992 he toured with Saltimbanco as a tent technician. Danny has worked at the National Circus School in Montreal and has, over the years, contributed to the design of most of the aerial acrobatic equipment used in the Cirque du Soleil shows Alegría, Mystère, Quidam, Dralion, Varekai, "O", La Nouba and. He was also Head Rigger for Quidam in 1996. In 2008, he designed the rigging and equipment for the acrobatics show at the Quebec City 400th anniversary celebrations. KURIOS – Cabinet of curiosities is Danny Zen’s fourth engagement as Acrobatic Equipment and Rigging Designer for a Cirque du Soleil show, following Corteo, KOOZA and Zarkana.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Normand Blais

    Prop Designer

    Over the past 15 years, Normand Blais has carved out a niche for himself in the Quebec theatre world by inventing and gaining recognition for a new role on creative teams—that of prop designer. He is also the first to hold this position at Cirque du Soleil.

    On Zumanity, Normand is in charge of designing hand props for the artists, in addition to furniture and objects for the stage created by set designer Stéphane Roy.

    Normand has participated in the production of over one hundred plays since completing his studies in Theatre Production at Cégep de St-Hyacinthe, Quebec, in 1987. From the outset, he made a veritable speciality out of his ability to unearth objects resonant with meaning, as well as his legendary attention to detail. In Montreal, Normand is "prop designer in residence" for contemporary theatre troupe La Compagnie Jean Duceppe, but that doesn't prevent him from sharing his talents with most of the city's other theatre companies.

    Many renowned Quebecois directors have called on Normand to help breathe life into productions that include both classics and original works. His ingenious and pertinent finds contributed to the success of the musical The Man of La Mancha, directed by René Richard Cyr, which in 2002 was awarded the Prix du public and the Prix de la meilleure production en région by the Académie québécoise du théâtre. In the same year, Normand also designed props for Italian quick-change artist Arturo Brachetti, internationally acclaimed by critics and the public alike.

     Read More  Hide 
  • Anna Liani

    Additional music and lyrics

     Read More  Hide 
 
Share

Share Zumanity by email or to your favorite social network

See Zumanity on:
FacebookYoutubeTwitter
Cirque Club

GET TICKETS TO YOUR CITY BEFORE EVERYONE ELSE!

  • Free access to pre-sales
  • Email alerts when tickets are available
  • Special offers & exclusive content
SIGN-UPAlready a member?