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Pageant / Icarian
The Storm
The Deep
Archer's Den
Wash Up on Shore
Lantern (Shadows)
The Climb
Archers Attack
Flutes (Captivity)
The Forest
Slave Cage
Final Battle

Dressing Ritual





Costumes & Characters
    "I had to come up with thousands of props to reflect the ambiguity of the time and place of the story. Our task was to create a new world, to invent a civilization." — Patricia Ruel, Props Designer

The characters of K└ inhabit a world of many tribes and factions. These tribes are largely segregated from each other and some tribes are in conflict with others. The story of K└ brings together the different peoples of this world to meet their collective destiny.

Seventy specialists worked more than 35,000 hours to produce the first full set of K└ costumes at the Cirque du Soleil headquarters in Montreal. The creators got their inspiration from the visual iconography found in Asia, as reflected in the lavish costumes of the imperial court, and the fearsome uniforms of the martial art warriors. For their coronation ceremony, the twins wear their very best silk outfits, inspired by orientalist painters, their costumes are reminiscent of Japan, Korea, and India. For the courtiers' intricately detailed majestic dresses, noble fabrics were used, such as sheer silk and sparkling brocades that one would expect to see at the most lavish of operas. The color palate includes milky white, dark red, and bright ochre tones that blend perfectly with the natural leather and unbleached raw cotton.

  Make-up is just as important; it can take from 45 minutes to two hours to complete. And there are three make-up technicians who airbrush the faces of artists for each performance. Many artists glue Austrian crystals to their faces as part of their make-up. But the Chief Archer character has the most complex make-up application, with 43 steps and 22 different brushes!
The forest people characters evoke puppet-like creatures. Their headdresses are inspired by African ceremonies and rites. (There are 15 wigs used in the show, and one Forest hat takes 40 hours to make.) The scars on their skin are a throwback to the ritual marking of Maasai warriors. The craftspeople at Cirque came up with a technique that consists in printing an image of the artist's muscle definition on their flamboyant bright blue leotards.

Relentless pursuers, the Archers, are inspired by the Japanese art of archery. The tattoos of these hard warrior people are printed on Tactel, a stretchy and breathable nylon created especially for intense sports. The fabric is the same color as the artist's skin, making the tattoos look incredibly real. (There are six different body tattoo designs on the unitards worn by the Archers and Spearmen.) The Spearmen's shoes give the impression that the characters are barefoot; molded rubber toes are attached to the soles. (There are approximately 400 pairs of shoes for the artists.)

The counselor's son is the most contemporary character of the KA universe. Tattooing is an ancestral art form of the East and it is used to expose the intensity of this character, who is as cruel as he is dangerous. A ripped piece of kilt is superimposed on his costume to show the punk side of this formidable warrior. It is a pleated piece of cloth that is colored using "shibori", a Japanese tie-dyeing technique.


The Empire
    The Empire is a noble, proud and peaceful society which represents the pinnacle of civilization in the world of K└. The Empire is the height of art, culture, and education. The Empire has developed a graceful and majestic form of martial arts which its combatants practice.
The Twins
    A boy and a girl represent the hope for the future of the Empire. Heirs to the throne, they are raised to be educated and noble but also skilled in combat. The story of K└ is the story of the twins as they fulfill their respective destinies.
The Emperor
    He is the monarch of the Empire and father of the Twins. Dressed in luminous robes, the Emperor has a regal air.
The Empress
    She rules by the side of her husband, the Emperor, and is the mother of the Twins. Her elaborate dress references the Peking Opera, and the weeping tree design embroidered on her sleeves suggests a slight melancholy to her character.
The Nursemaid
    The Twins' guardian, she is charged with watching over and caring for the Twins in their young age Somewhat of a surrogate mother, her relationship with the Twins is one of mutual loyalty and love.
The Court Jester
    The Fool of the court, he shares a special bond with the Twins. He dances and entertains but he is also an agile acrobat and possesses strength and courage beyond his role as a jester.
The Valets
    Servants of the Imperial Court, the Valets are a mischievous and bumbling trio who constantly get into trouble. They play off each others' stupidities like the Three Stooges.
The Imperial Guards
    Practitioners of the graceful and noble form of martial arts developed by the Empire, the Imperial Guards ceremoniously protect the Emperor and his Court. The guards are dressed in Asian-inspired robes with the empire's tree insignia across the open chest for the men, and the long flowing robes hanging from the upper-body for the women.
The Archers
    The Archers are a malevolent underground society. Comprised of factions of archers and spearmen living deep beneath the surface of the Earth in caves, the bottom of their faces are obscured with muzzles and they have emblazoned intricate tattoos all over their bodies. The Archers mine a rare element that can be processed into powerful explosives for weapons. They have mastered the art of aerial combat and fly from scaffold to scaffold in their underground mines. Their society is built on war, destruction and dominion by force. They will stop at nothing to conquer the world of K└ and enslave its inhabitants.
The Evil Counselor
    Leader of the Archer Tribe, architect of its deadly arsenal of destruction and strategist behind the Archers' plans for domination. He is the brain of the Archer Tribe.
The Counselor's Son
    A brilliant designer of weapons and war machines and practitioner of the Tribe's Aerial combat techniques, the malignant, jealous and petty son of the Councilor is being reared to succeed his father at the helm of the Archer Tribe.
The Chief Archer
    The stone-cold and imposing General of the Archers' forces, he directs the archers and spearmen during their strategic attacks. He commands the respect and loyalty of his troops. If the Counselor is the brain of the Archers the Chief Archer is the brawn. The only glimpse of his heart is shown in his love for his daughter.
Chief Archer's Daughter
    A femme-fatale, the irresistibly beautiful, tough-as-nails daughter of the Head Archer is desired by all of the men of the Archer tribe. She continually spurs their affection but knows how to use her sexuality to get what she wants from them The many spider-like references in her costume suggest she is a black-widow although underneath her brazen exterior, she secretly yearns for a virtuous life and the love of one who is pure of heart.
The Mountain Tribe
    A tribe of white fur-clad mountain-dwellers who descend from the heights to fish and scavenge for food. They are agile climbers and mountaineers. Their deceptively primitive appearance gives no hint of the fact that they are actually brilliant engineers and inventors.
The Forest Tribe
    An ancient, mysterious and mystical airborne people who inhabit the treetops of the forest. A majestic tribe gifted with the ability of flight and masters of aerial combat, they are a peaceful society but will fight to free those enslaved and oppressed by the Archers.
Firefly Boy
    The young, handsome leader of the Forest Tribe; he swings from the treetops like Tarzan. His heart of gold compels him to fight to uphold the good in the world.
The Animals
    The animals in the world of K└ are sentient, possessing human-like characteristics and are a benevolent presence. Some of the animals we meet in K└ include a pair of crabs, a starfish, a turtle, a giant grass-hopper, a snake and a caterpillar.

{Imperial Court}
{The Twins}
{The Nursemaid}

{Court Jester}

{The Valets}

{Imperial Guards}

{The Archers}

{Evil Councelor}

{Councelor's Son}

{Chief Archer & Daugter}

{Mountain Tribe}

{Forest Tribe}

{Firefly Boy}

{The Animals}

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