Franco Dragone, Director
Franco Dragone grew up in La Louviére in Belgium and moved to Quebec in 1982 where he led commedia dell’arte workshops and taught at the Montréal circus school. He gained the attention of Cirque du Soleil’s founder, Guy Laliberté. Prior to directing Quidam in 1996, Franco contributed to their first show, simply titled Cirque du Soleil (1985), as well as Le Cirque Réinventé (1987), La Magie Continue (1989), Nouvelle Expérience (1990), Saltimbanco (1992), Mystére (1993), and Alegría (1994). After Quidam, he went on to direct “O” (1998)and La Nouba (1999).
After his extensive work with Cirque du Soleil, he returned to Belgium and began his own event production company. With the Dragone group, he directed Celne Dion’s A New Day as well as Le Réve at the Wynn in Vegas.
For more, visit his website.
[Sources: Cirquedusoleil.com, dragone.be]
Michel Crête, Set Designer
Michel Crête also designed the sets for Nouvelle Expérience, Fascination, Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystére, “O”, and La Nouba. He also left Cirque with Dragone and designed for Celine Dion’s A New Day and Le Rêve. In addition, he designed the costumes for Cirque Réinventé which won him a Gémeaux and Gemini award for best costumes in a variety show. Crête graduated from the National Theatre School in Canada in 1984. Outside of Cirque, he has designed the sets for many plays in the Quebec theatre scene and the set for Cheval, a show produced by a company founded by Gilles Ste-Croix.
Benoît Jutras, Composer
Jutras composed the music for “O”, a portion of Mystére, and La Nouba. He also wrote the music for the IMAX film Journey of Man and Alegría the Film. He joined Dragone in composing for Le Rêve at the Wynn hotel in Vegas and for his current project, City of Dreams, which is set to open in Macau this year.
[Sources: cirquedusoleil.com, benoitjutras.com]
Dominique Lemieux, Costume Designer
Lemieux holds a degree in fine arts from Concordia University in Montréal and studied scenography at the National Theatre School of Canada. There she met costume designer, François Barbeau, whom she assisted in the late 80’s. Since then she designed numerous costumes for various productions and ultimately joined Cirque du Soleil. With Cirque she designed costumes for Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystére, Alegría, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, and Corteo. Outside of Cirque she designed for Celine Dion’s A New Day in Vegas.
For more, visit her website.
[Sources: cirquedusoleil.com, dominiquelemieux.com]
Nathalie Gagné, Makeup Designer
Gagné studied theatre production at Cégep de Sainte-Hyacinth and attended the makeup school, École Christian Chauvreau. She has been involved in the makeup design of fifteen Cirque productions. They are: Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystére, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Varekai, Zumanity, KÀ, Corteo, Delirium, Love, Zaia, Criss Angel Believe, and Viva Elvis.
François Bergeron, Sound Designer
Bergeron has sound designed for numerous variety shows, plays, and musicals. He was a part of the creation of the Tokyo DisneySea theme park in Japan. He owns his own company, Thinkwell Design and Production. He has provided the sound design for Nouvelle Experience, Saltimbanco, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Varekai, and Zed. “In the circus, the soundscape is a powerful emotion. It can signal danger, heighten tension or trigger laughter. And it is impossible to escape its influence.”
Debra Brown, Choreographer
Formerly a gymnast, Debra Brown holds a degree in physical education from the University of Western Ontario and a degree in fine arts from York University in Toronto. She has choreographed ten of Cirque du Soleil’s shows (Le Cirque Réinventé, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Alegría, Mystére, Quidam, “O”, La Nouba, Corteo, Zumanity (one act), and Zed. She has won numerous awards including an emmy for her choreoraphy of Cirque’s performance at the Academy Awards. She is also known for her choreography of Aerosmith’s “Jaded” music video and Madonna’s “Drowned” world tour.
Luc Lafortune, Lighting Designer
Lafortune has been involved in the lighting for Le Cirque Réinventé, Fascination, Nouvelle Expérience, Saltimbanco, Mystére, Alegría, Quidam, La Nouba, Dralion, Varekai, Zumanity, KÀ. He was also the co-director of photography for the video recording of Quidam. He has also provided lighting for Peter Gabriel, No Doubt, The Eagles, and Salto Natale. He studied Theatre Production at Concordia University.
For more, visit his website.
[Sources: cirquedusoleil.com, luclafortune.com]
Guy Laliberté, Artistic Guide
Laliberté is the founder of Cirque du Soleil. Starting as just a group of street performers in 1984, he led the company into becoming a large international organization today. He oversees the entire creation of every show and ensures that they are held to high artistic standards. He recieved the Ordre National du Québec (highest honor in Quebec) in 1997 and the Order of Canada (highest distinction in Canada) in 2004. In 2009 he became the first Canadian private space explorer.
Gilles Ste-Croix, Artistic Guide
Ste-Croix was a part of the original troupe of street performers in Baie-Saint-Paul as a stilt walker. He became the artistic director of Cirque du Soleil in 1988 and coordinated an international talent search. He was the director of creation for all of Cirque’s shows from 1990-2000. While continuing with Cirque, Ste-Croix started a side project and created Ceval-Théâtre and produced the show Cheval which featured many horses as well as acrobats. He is now the vice president of creation.