Cirque Corner  



[ You are here: Grand Chapiteau | Creations | Axel | Personages ]







The Storm
Rising Sun
The Ritual
Masters Challenge
Top of the World
Leap of Faith




Costumes & Characters

Collectively, the costumes for AXEL send a clear message: we are in a colourful, modern world where different clans clash and mingle. Whether worn by the good or the evil, AXEL’s costumes are more than simple clothes: they shape the characters and build strong personalities for them, while clearly showing each one’s affiliation. Red dominates on the side of good (Lei and The Syndicates), while a colour from the other end of the spectrum, green, is part of each villain’s costume (Vï and The Corporation).

While the character of Axel – grounded in the real world – wears jeans, a t-shirt, a leather jacket and a hat, other wardrobe choices, like those associated with evil Vï, take us instead into a fantasy world. The villain’s pants, shirt, jacket and colourfully sequined velvet cape recall a scaly snake – his emblematic animal, often reinterpreted on his different costumes, most notably as a print on his black jacket. The rather glamorous eveningwear (in the GALA world) seems to come from a futuristic runway show, complete with hats in the form of bright fluorescent triangles.

The world of manga and the ethnic origins of the Lei character guided the creative process. The result: there are many Asian references, in several silhouettes and costumes. Consider, for example, Lei’s floral-print jacket, reminiscent of Japanese kimonos, while the costumes worn by Lei’s group evoke both Samurai armour and all-black ninja garb. The colours used are similarly suggestive of Asian inspiration: red, yellow and orange predominate.

Occasional subtle references to the world of music remind us of the fact that Axel is also a musical epic inspired by big arena concerts. For example, the lightning bolt on the Quartz’s costume recalls David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust character. The golden helmets worn by the members of The Corporation can be seen as a nod to the masks worn by the electronic music duo Daft Punk. There are also numerous references to video games. For example, the flame print on the suits (MASTERS CHALLENGE world) is rendered as a large-format pixilation.

Considerable effort went into carefully selecting materials that would protect the artists from the cold and humidity of the arenas while facilitating their performance. Acrobatic movements and circus arts drove the final choices, and some of the costumes benefit from the very latest innovations in textiles. For example, for the aerial chains routine (MASTERS CHALLENGE world), the outfits were made with a shock-resistant material that stiffens on impact. That feature allows it to last longer before showing signs of wear.

The large dresses (GALA world) encapsulate the considerations that come into play when making any costume for Cirque du Soleil: while the dresses are grandiose on the ice, they go in an ordinary washing machine and can be disassembled for easy packing for truck transport.

    Axel is an introverted young visual artist with a passion for drawing and music. He is the story’s narrator, and the show immerses us in his world and vision. His world isturned upside down when a new girl comes to town.
    The Keeper of a talisman called the Shining Star and leader of The Syndicates, Lei is a young woman with mysterious powers. Axel falls madly in love with her.
    Vi is an egomaniacal and malevolent character created by Axel. He represents the dark side of the world. Like a black hole, he feeds on our fears and energy. He is the leader of The Corporation. He seeks to steal light to enhance his power.
    Awkward, extraverted and over-confident, Quartz is a superhero straight out of Axel’s imagination.
    Steel is a protective and very affectionate robotic dog that Axel created to replace the real dog he lost as a child.
The Syndicates
    The group of freestylers and Samurais who accompany and protect Lei and the Shining Star.
The Corporation
    Vi's army of stylish, narcissistic, power-hungry henchmen.
Keepers of the Light
    The mystical keepers of the eternal light are giants who live at the top of the world.




Cirque Corner