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La Nouba

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La Nouba




Aerial Bamboo
Dance Interlude
Cycles (BMX)
Aerial Cradle
Silk Ballet
Rola Bola
Flying Trapeze
Power Track

Cyr Wheel

Chair Balancing
German Wheel
Balto & Sergey
Jump Rope




Costumes & Characters
    "The idea of La Nouba for me was really like returning to childhood, to that time when you huddle together and try to live out your future on a smaller scale, in your imagination. We tried to have fun, scare ourselves, like we were kids, too, and to touch human tragedy with our fingertips. It meant adopting a different method from the start. For the first time, I started to draw on black pages with white crayons. The characters are born from the dark, from dreams and fairy tales, to reflect the human condition today." - Dominique Lemieux, Costume Designer

La Nouba is the meeting of two worlds poles apart: the fantastic world of the circus artists - the Cirques, sporting bright, fluorescent colors - and that of the Urbans, who wear dark, monochromatic outfits. Dominique Lemieux created 30 different costume concepts, blending historical and traditional circus attire with original contemporary styles, and drew at least 10 different designs for each costume concept. Although those designs were pared down by the time of La Nouba's debut, the wardrobe department still handles over 300 costumes and headpieces every day. That's because some principal characters have several costume layers, many of whom undergoing a metamorphosis indicated by a dramatic costume change (revealed as the tale unfolds). An example of this transformation can be seen with the Urbanites: they begin in ark, muted blues, reds and greens and end up in white, billowing, and fairy-like outfits.

  The costumes for La Nouba were created in a record eight-week period from October 24 to December 23, 1998 at the costume workshop located in the Cirque du Soleil theater.
To take into account the darkness of the set, the costumes were drawn on a black background using brightly colored glow-in-the-dark pencil crayons. Their filigreed florescent outlines give them an air of lightness, like lace. Dark fabrics with fluorescent color accents are also used to provide high-contrast images with the addition of black lights. For example: The German Wheel costumes were designed to resemble marionettes while also highlighting the artists' anatomy. The Flying Trapeze costumes were also created in similar vain: they are both tribal and androgynous with elaborate collars, head ornaments, and tutu skirts (for the male performers). Both glow in black light. Not everybody was excited about wearing them though: "Normally, the artists are willing to go beyond what they would normally do," Lemieux muses. "In La Nouba, we had created these transvestite characters for the Russians to play, to give the show a cabaret feel. And they really, really resisted doing it! But, in the end, they agreed: and they do a wonderful job!"

Once the costumes are designed it's the Wardrobe Department's job to create and service the costumes. La Nouba's wardrobe department employs ten technicians to custom-dye the costume materials for the show. These include fabric, real and synthetic hair, feathers, horsehair, leather, and more. The designs on the costumes for the diabolo act are fashioned out of rope applique, for example. Silk is also used: Like traditional Pierrot clowns, Les Cons are dressed head to toe in white - symbolizing naivety and innocence. The costumes of this quirky quartet are made of silk and decorated with beads. You'll even find the at-sign (@) and other typographical symbols associated with computer technology - distinctive shapes denoting the advent of e-commerce - were integrated into some of the costumes. As in all Cirque du Soleil productions, plaster head molds were cast for each of the artists to insure that their wigs, masks and headpieces fit perfectly. This process takes about four hours per head. A total of four different wig-styles were created for La Nouba, and each wig takes one person approximately 70 hours to make. And while it's hard work, they've created lasting characters for us to enjoy...


Le Promeneur (The Stroller)
    What’s going on in the head (under the hat) of the lonely little Walker? Back and forth he goes, never stopping... except at very specific moments, for reasons known to him alone. With a happy-go-lucky shuffle in his step, this character sees the world through playfullness and happiness. Complete with a green bowler's hat, he'll warm his way into your heart and soul, and bring a smile to your face.
Le Titan (The Titan)
    Le Titatn -- He's our resident strong man. You can spot him by his bald head, grey robe and mechanical leg kicking walk. He's a solitary figure, unfriendly and threatening. He marches assertively through the world of La Nouba, like a nightmare waiting to take over a sweet dream.
La femme de Ménage (The Cleaning Lady)
    Once upon a time, there was an Attic that had been abandoned for many years. Among the cobwebs, the forgotten toys, the trunks bursting with memories, strange and fabulous characters lay dormant, just waiting to take up their tale. All she had to do was open the door. As the door swung shut behind her, Petite Madame (who had merely come to do a little cleaning), found herself beset on all sides by a mad reel of the possible and the impossible, dream and reality, the wonderful and the everyday. (Also known as "La Femme de Ménage")
Les Cons (The Nuts)
    Once upon a time there were four Nuts. Four Nuts that no one could see, but they themselves saw everything. Nuts they might be, but mad they were not. And these Nuts had but one idea in their heads: to mind everyone’s business but their own, to disobey, to muddle lines, stories, destinies . . . and to have fun! Noted by their bald heads and white gownd, these nuts are mischievous, innocent characters that seems to exist between realities. You'll spot them immediately... sometimes screaming their heads off! Inspired by the Pierrot or classical clown, Les Cons are dressed simply in white to signify their naïve and innocent character.
L'Oiseau (The Green Bird)
    Originally known as Le Pantin, or The Puppet, The Green Bird has escaped her cage, and desperately wants to fly. But she can't; she is too awkward. She remains trapped in the urban world like a marionette with tangled strings.
Les Danseurs (The Dancers)
    Imagine a classic love story with the passion and intensity of Romeo and Juliet. Only now, the relationship is between a Pierrot clown and a lost ballerina. Their love, like their dance, is a never-ending story filled with desire, fear and a longing for more.
The Pierrot Acrobat
    The Acrobatic Pierrot appears up on the mountain, on the wall at the End of the World, on the Rocks, and at the heart of the action. Agile and nimble, within a flash of folly you'll miss him as he turns, flips, twists and flies across your view. He is called the Red Pierrot, after a species of butterfly. Like his namesake, he flits about the stage, somehow cross-pollinating his fellow acrobats. (His red flame costume is made of pleated silk and stretch velour.)
Clowns: The Pablos (2014+)
    Purple Pablo and Orange Pablo are sometimes friends, sometimes enemies. Guiding guests on their colorful journey through this new place called La Nouba. Enhancing a world that mesmerizes and mystifies. (Prior to joining La Nouba, this clown pair were featured in Alegria.)

{The Walker}




{The Dancers}

{The Dancers}

{Red Pierrot}

{The Cleaning Lady}

{Les Cons}

{Le Titan}


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