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Costumes & Characters
    I found my inspiration in the world of the tarot, but also in the Italian Renaissance and the world of Leonardo da Vinci, with a nod to other painters of that time, such as Hieronymus Bosch and Raphael.” - Renée April, Costume Designer

ZED is above all a show driven by its characters, who are inspired by the mysteries of the tarot. This rich gallery of colorful individuals gave director Francois Girard a poetic premise to build on, and the task of dressing them fell to costume designer Renée April. ZED is the meeting of two worlds: the sky – where iridescent colors, pale shades, and pearl and silver prevail – and the earth, with its Italian-Renaissance color palate, emphasises ochre, green, intense turquoise green, gold, and Venetian blue.

“I was aiming for a certain homogeneity and purity of line in keeping with the visual world of François Girard,” explains Renée April. “The 150 costumes in the show also reveal my playful side, but they are not caricatures. I work a lot through emotion and intuition. I always prefer works that project the viewer into a distant era. Even though that calls for more in-depth research, I am not trying to replicate the era in great detail. I always concentrate more on an interpretation of it.”


    Inspired by the Fool of the Tarot, Zed is the main character in the show. Called to undergo a transformation, he is both multiple and omnipresent. The initial state of Zed is associated with the unconscious and chaos: his imbecility is obvious, but his silliness is touching because it reveals his vulnerability and naivety. By the end of the show, Zed represents consciousness, restored harmony and the reversal of the order of things through laughter. Simply clad in white from head to toe without any discernable lines other than a subtle diamond pattern, ZED resembles a Pierrot. His costumes is made of organza - a type of sheer, tight-weave silk - that has been darted to produce the diamond pattern so popular in Renaissance times.
    The creator of the firmament, Nouit (Johanna Lillvik, singer) is the incarnation of the Great Goddess, Mother of the Sky and of all beings who inhabit it. As a representation of the starry sky (she is fitted with 14 wings, decorated with 400 LEDs), Nouit expresses and infinite compassion for all beings and is an ally of Zed, whom she understands and quietly watches over making every effort to help him achieve his quest..
    Inspired by "The Magician" of the Tarot, the magus Abraka (Kevin Faraci) is the Father of the Earth and procreator of all the creatures who inhabit it. Abraka is all-powerful – he wears a chain mail coat and a large royal collar. When he raises his arms, his four wings, which range gradually from purple to gold, spread out over 18 meters – but his power is earthbound and subject to the omnipotence of the Shaman. He is the guardian of the liberating, jubilant power of Zed. His costume required 200 meters of cloth pleated by hand and printed with designs using a technique called sublimation, which fixes the images in the fibers of the material. Abraka is flanked by servants who wear gold and blue Venetian livery.
    The medieval character Kernoon, the god of hell, wears laced boots and a large silk coat that turns gradually from yellow ochre to dark brown and is adorned with a hundred or more orange and red cone-shaped "flowers", some of which are motorized to create a ripple effect. Inspired by "The Devil" in the Tarot, he embodies the troubled forces of the unconscious. Covered in the burning hues of reds, oranges, yellows and ochres, he reigns over the subterranean depths, a kingdom that is one of fire where the Satyrs are his unwitting subjects.
The Shaman
    Inspired by "The Pope" of the Tarot, the Shaman is clad in a transparent copper-colored outfit coupled with white-painted tribal patterns that contrasts with his black skin. As the carrier of the magic incantation of the universe, he presides over the birth of Nouit and Abraka, who submit to him. It is also he who awakens the elements. In him, Zed finds a guide to initiate him into the secrets of the arcane and accompany him on his path to self-realization. Master of the Arcana, the Shaman wears a transparent copper-colored mesh outfit that contrasts with his black skin. White tribal patterns are painted onto his costume and he also wears a tribal headdress, a coat that is open in front and a twisted leather cape decorated with belts encrusted with small items such as stones and pieces of fur.
    The Shaman is accompanied by Djinn, his accomplice and apprentice. Covered in gold leaf and smartly adorned, Djinn is the bringer of light and fire, opening the way wherever the Shaman may go. ZED is the meeting of two worlds: the heavens and the earth. And Djinn, the baton master, marshals this big bang by combining dance and gymnastics with flair. His costume is made from a stretch silicone material with a type of gold leaf applied around the neckline to give the impression that he is wearing a huge Inca or Aztec necklace. Covered in tattoos, he is dressed in gold and turquoise blue with shades of green.
    Oulaï and Nalaï; one is a vindictive petty dictator who seeks to control everything, while the other is just plain lazy and always finds a way to do as little as possible. Together, they form an inseparable duo of buffoons with the splendid naivety and great poetry to both move us and make us laugh.
    Erato is a goddess of Heaven, a muse and a subject of Nouit. Bright, sparkling and divinely beautiful, she passes through the Sky like a ghost.
The People of the Sky
    Turquoise, blue and iridescent colors predominate in these poetic characters’ costumes. They are made from a fabric that looks fragile, but is in fact very durable. It is impossible to know where the suit ends and where the skin begins. The characters look like dragonflies with large antennas or elves. The Nymphs, who also belong to this people, are dressed in chiffon and cristalette, and resemble jellyfish with fiery tails.
The Satyrs
    These characters, who embody the indomitable forces of nature, wear “justaucorps,” costumes that reveal their muscles and bear flames that go over their heads like the horns of goat.





{The Mage}




Cirque Corner